Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Pow Pow Kapow! Trillium and Lawson's Combine Forces to Blast Your Palate

Six months. Yes, I realize it has been six months without a post, but in that time I have taken up brewing (at my own home) and become a parent for the second time, so hopefully you'll forgive my lengthy absence.

If those reasons don't cut it for you, perhaps the inspiration for my return will: a double IPA collaboration project (that dropped and promptly sold out last week) between Trillium and Lawson's Finest Liquids.

If that doesn't excite you, you must not really dig craft beer at all; in which case, I must ask what brought you here to begin with?

And yet, there's even more excitement: this beer is brewed with Lupulin powder.  Basically, like your ganja-grinder builds up copious high quantities of THC-rich powder, so too this is like the "chemo" (or whatever the kids are calling "da bomb shit" these days) version of hops - not extract, not pellet, not leaf, but money, son!  And, since these plants are related, it is literally like the lupulin version of THC buildup in resinous powder, but herein one captures the essences of... wait for it... Citra, Simcoe, and Mosaic in concentrated form (supplemented by regular Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin).  I KNOW, RIGHT!?!?  Just mentioning this beats Viagra for beer geeks everywhere!  I had to seriously overpay to trade for a can of this, but while it's fresh on the market, how could I not write about it?

Pow Pow pours a turbid pale OJ colour with a frothy white head.  It recedes fairly quickly, but still offers opportunities to waft the bouquet.  Here I am greeted with citrus (both tangerines and grapefruit), lemon rind,  melon, some pineapple, and a fair dankness.  The nose is fruity and exotic, with an underlying hint of the resins comprising much of its aromatics.  And it is fantastic!

On the tongue this beer starts with the tangerine sweetness one expects, before quickly transitioning to grapefruit and drying with a substantially bitter finish (bolder and with a lengthier linger than most Trilliums or Lawson's).  There is a slight mineral earthiness to the finish that I would have attributed to the lupulin (thinking the powder is less removed in the unfiltered finished product), except I have gotten the same on my own (non-powder) IPAs sometimes, and I wonder if it is unsettled yeast as are often present in turbid IPAs (and of specifically non-flocculant strains).  This detracts slightly for me from its otherwise remarkable drinkability, but it remains magnificent.

The body absolutely nails the NE silky softness characterizing the style.

In the end, I'd say this beer is closer to your average Trillium than your average Lawson's, though elements of the influences of both Sean Lawson and JC Tetreault are both discernible (I say this and am reminded of my amazement that my father-in-law can pick out jazz musicians on different instruments by their style, yet here I am doing so for brewers!)

Though I still prefer (DDH) Melcher, (DDH) Congress, and (Galaxy) Fort Point, saying that is no slight!  If it pales to those, the difference is slight and fans of the style must recognize that this may never return, so trade for it now while the powder is fresh!

Grade: A