This week as we watch the craziness of the MAC Basketball Tournament unfold from the confines of our homes, we might as well drink.
And I have a couple brews that are perfect for this weekend.
First up, I might not have immunity from Coronavirus...but I do have Diplomatic Immunity.
Buffalo, New York has a bustling craft beer community and Thin Man Brewery is part of that growing tradition. They have been open since 2016 and are the only brewery currently located in the city’s Elmwood Village.
Normally you can only find their brews on the East Coast but I was lucky to snag a few cans last month.
Today I bring you one of their releases from late last year - Diplomatic Immunity. This IPA was canned on 12/24/19 (review written on 2/19/20) and brewed with Mosaic and Simcoe hops. Each 16-ounce can has a solid 7% ABV and cost me $6.
This New England IPA poured a bright and hazy golden straw color with just under a finger of pure white head sitting atop the liquid. The bubbles quickly fade into a thin line around the edge and a few clouds in the middle.
It had a soft and juicy aroma that featured plenty of citrus and stone fruits. Passion fruit, mango, pineapple, peach, and even some melon were easily picked up in the scent. Notes of flaked oat and wheat softened it up and made it even more inviting.
My first sip started off with a fizzle of carbonation that continued to run underneath as the hops and malt began their descent on my taste buds.
Up first was a slight hoppy sting that was accompanied by flavors of grapefruit, mango, and passion fruit. The flaked grist provided some breadiness and, as they had done with the smell, softened the flavors out a bit.
After a moment or two there was a swell of more fruit flavors, as a sweet peach and honeydew melon characteristic popped up and blended with the earlier flavors of mango and passion fruit.
As the sip continued to progress, a grapefruit rind flavor and slightly oily resinous feeling started to appear. Diplomatic Immunity then finishes mostly clean with just some lingering citrus peel flavors and that slightly dry resin.
I’m glad Thin Man hasn’t revoked my privileges because Diplomatic Immunity was a real easy drinking and tasty IPA. I know I would abuse my powers if I was close to the brewery just to get my hands on some more of this brew. Too bad it’s not always available.
Up next, a beer from Mumford Brewing.
Mumford Brewing is one of Los Angeles’ new powerhouse breweries. They have a nice variety of brews at any given time that range from New England IPAs and Stouts to Barleywines and Pilsners. And, if you don’t want to leave home, they offer their brews up on Postmates (for local deliveries) and Tavour (for those not in LA/California).
I was able to get one of their new hazy IPAs - Butterfly Scratch. This brew was packaged on January 3rd, 2020 (reviewed on 2/23/20) and features loads of Hallertau Blanc and Mosaic hops. Each 16-ounce can set me back $7 (but it’s probably cheaper at the brewery) and has a nice 6.6% ABV.
Butterfly Scratch poured a super murky straw color. This beer didn’t mess around with the haze. Topping it off as just over a finger of airy, eggshell white foam. Almost instantly the head disappeared into a small collection around the edge of the glass and some light lacing where it had already fallen.
The aroma was a combination of juice and grist. There were big notes of citrus - like pineapple, mango, grapefruit, and passion fruit - but there was also a massive amount of flaked oats and wheat that gave it a cereal-like smell.
My first swig started off smooth and with just the tiniest hint of carbonation.
From there, it was the Mosaic hops that started off the sip, as a bunch of fruit flavors swarmed over my tongue. Mango, grapefruit, and pineapple hit first with sweet and slightly acidic notes. The hops hit here with a solid bitter twinge that didn’t last terribly long.
And speaking of not long...it wasn’t long before the Hallertau Blanc hops stepped up to bat. After a moment or two, they added notes of white grapes and gave the brew a slightly wine-like brut quality. With that brutness, a dryness began to creep in and, by the end of the sip, my mouth was nearly bone dry.
The grains that were so prevalent in the aroma were much more subtle and muted in the taste, only appearing late in the sip with a light oaty sweetness.
Butterfly Scratch finished quite dry but didn’t have any long lingering flavors. Every so often a sip of water was a nice reprieve from the dryness but, other than that, it was a very easy to drink beer.
Overall, my first impression with Mumford was a good one. There weren’t too many shortcomings to Butterfly Scratch...just that light hop bite early on in the taste and the strong dryness that finished it.