Wednesday, 27 May 2015

La Formidable American-Belgo IPA

According to the literature that accompanies La Formidable American-Belgo IPA, its birth parent is the Gigantic Brewing Company, "an independent, artisanal brewery located in the Southeast quadrant of the People's Republic of Portland", and its adopted parent is the B-Side Brewing Label, a Vankleek Hill, Ontario outfit (why yes, that is where Beau's comes from) that brands itself as "a portfolio of international brands of excellence being produced fresh and locally for the Ontario market".

La Formidable comes in 600mL bottles that feature a rampaging robot on the label. It contains 6.9% alcohol, which seems about right. From said bottle pours a hazy, dull golden ale topped with a vibrant off-white head. True to my expectations, La Formidable has a seriously funky aroma and flavour that stir together punchy India pale ale characteristics with barnyard grit and Belgian-style super-yeast. On the nose, we're talking evergreen forest after a rainstorm. On the palate, bitter and sweet cohabit relatively peacefully in the front parlour, while dank and yeasty bang pots and pans in the kitchen down the hall. While the beer tastes strong, it's more descriptive to say that it has a strong flavour--it certainly offers the taste buds a lot to process while it dulls the senses with potency. Citrus, must, spice, and floral hops all share the stage, but yeast steals the spotlight in a baffling climax before the curtain of a dry finish sends ticket holders home to their families.

Rolling papers?
Funky, funky stuff. Yeasty and bitter, vigorous and arid, tasty and turbulent, La Formidable is a strange brew. I liked it, was enticed by it, but didn't love it. I'd be keen to revisit it--but not tomorrow. Kudos, though, to the Gigantic/B-Side partnership for offering a beer that is genuinely unusual. It's a nice reminder of what a big world of beer there is out there. 700+ reviews in and I've barely scratched the surface.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10.

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