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Belt’s Beer Garden: Wizard of Ahhs

It’s Complicated Being a Wizard, a hazy DIPA from Vermont’s Burlington Beer Co.

Fun Fact - Vermont has the most breweries per capita in the US.

They also have some of the best breweries in the nation as well. Any fan of beer needs to take a pilgrimage up to the Green Mountain State and, when they do, the first city they should hit up is the state’s largest city - Burlington.

Burlington, Vermont is home to (and this may shock you…) Burlington Beer Company. BBCO began back in 2014 on the south side of the city, just a thousand feet from the banks of Lake Champlain.

If you’re lucky enough to reside in Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, or Rhode Island you can probably find their beers near you. However, if you’re all the way out in California like me…they are a very rare sight. So when I saw their flagship Double IPA up for sale, I jumped at the chance.

It’s Complicated Being a Wizard is their best selling and most checked-in beer by far. This DIPA is brewed with Chinook, Idaho 7, and Simcoe hops as well as barley, wheat, and flaked oats. It has a solid 8% ABV and costs about $16 for a four-pack.

Pouring a dark and murky orange color, It’s Complicated Being a Wizard had very little head build up. No more than half a finger of eggshell white foam ever topped the brew and, what little there was, quickly fizzled down into a small accumulation around the edge of the glass. It did leave some moderate lacing down the sides as the beer was consumed.

The nose was a nice subtle blend of hops and grains. The flaked oats and wheat gave off some lighter cereal-esque aromas while the hops offered up dank notes of tropical fruits and some earthy qualities. Mango, papaya, and orange were the most prevalent but there was also some melon and pithy grapefruit as well.

While the grist was noticeable in the smell, it was vastly overpowered by the hops in the taste. My first sip began with a twinge of hoppy bitterness that hummed underneath for a few moments before those fruity flavors began to show up.

It was the grapefruit rind and orange that led the way before some lighter notes of papaya and mango slowly crept forward. Some cantaloupe and honeydew melon occasionally peaked out but were not present on every sip.

Towards the middle of the sip, there was a spike of black pepper and some oniony notes offered up by those earthier aspects of the hops. A hint of pine was also noticeable but stayed underneath the fruits for the most part.

The back end offered up one final wave of juicy citrus, with the orange and grapefruit flavors washing over my taste buds one final time. The sip ended with a bit of a grapefruit rind dryness and bitterness but, otherwise, it was a mostly clean finish.

Overall, it was an easy drinking Double IPA. The 8% alcohol was hidden nicely but started to become a tad more apparent towards the final third of the pint. A solid DIPA that won’t do you wrong but nothing that will blow you away.

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