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Belt’s Beer Garden: A Storm is Brewing

Elder Pine’s Stormgazer Double IPA

Elder Pine Brewing & Blending Co. hasn’t been open all that long but it has certainly created a lot of noise in that short span - USA Today has them ranked as the sixth-best new brewery of 2020!

This family-owned brewery is located on the owner’s farm in Gaithersburg, Maryland (~25 miles north of Washington, DC) and they focus on hop-forward IPAs, farmhouse ales, and barrel-aged sours. Right now you can find their brews in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC.

Today I have their Stormgazer Double IPA. It features four types of malt (flaked wheat, pale, pilsner, and spelt) and three hop varieties (Ekuanot, Strata, and Vic Secret). The beer clocks in with a very solid 8.4% ABV and a four pack costs $20. This batch was canned on November 9th and this review was written on December 29th.

This DIPA poured a cloudy, yet bright, golden straw color with just under a finger of pure white head topping it off. The foam quickly dissipated down into a thin ring around the edge of the glass with just a few clouds floating in the middle.

The aroma is a blend of hop notes ranging from fruity to earthy. There are notes of grapefruit, pineapple, and juicy oranges. But there is also a hefty pine and grass characteristic too. A sort of grainy, sugared candy scent is also noticeable...like liquid Lemonheads.

My first sip started off with some moderate carbonation and a big burst of hops. There was a moderate bitterness that continued to buzz underneath as the sip progressed. It was never overly bitter but you certainly knew that this was an IPA.

The tangerine, orange, and grapefruit then appeared; and led the way with a juicy, slightly thicker mouthfeel that slowly overpowered the initial hoppy bite.

The citrus slowly began to lose its hold on the beer after a few short moments. And, with that opening, the other hop flavors began to appear.

There were some grassy notes that brought that familiar resinous feeling with it and a lighter pinecone taste that never really popped...it just sat nicely in the background.

As the flavors began to disappear, there was one final push of sweet orange and grapefruit right at the last moments before everything faded away and left a moderate aftertaste behind. The lingering aftertaste was a light bitter pithiness and that sticky resin, which resulted in some dryness.

Overall, it was a pretty solid beer. The ending was a bit dry and grainy but the flavors were certainly there. Stormgazer was a very crushable double...but just didn’t finish as cleanly as it could have.

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