Tuesday, September 22, 2009

84. MacTarnahan’s Summer Grifter IPA

MacTarnahan’s Brewing is in Portland, OR. Grifter has a totally awesome label. I can’t emphasize that enough—the black eye is a nice touch—they captured sketchy with this one.

Grifter IPA has a pleasant hop and malt nose, with some slight bready and roasty aromas carried along in the malt profile. With a rich caramel color and a creamy tan head that laces the glass well, Grifter looks and smells like a winner. Beginning with a creamy bready caramel malt front, Grifter moves into a bitter spicy middle and then closes with a little warmth and bitter spiciness that lingers on the palate. Grifter IPA has a soft, smooth mouthfeel, with a little bite from the carbonation at the end. The malt body is a bit heavy—it could use a bit more hoppiness to balance out the profile, although we did like the beer’s spiciness, coming as it does from either the rye or the hops. As well, as noted above, the label is decidely awesome--it is most certainly a Top 10 Best Label candidate if there ever was one.

Obnoxious prose warning: the label describes Grifter as “a deliciously wayward ale, lurking wherever thirst gathers.” The MacTarnahan’s website continues this trend: “Sometimes you don’t see trouble coming. And sometimes, that’s the best thing that could happen. This ale is a lot like that. It's a criminally delicious surprise that will that will steal your allegiance and con your thirst into leavin’ town. And you won’t even know you’ve been had until all you have left is a craving for it’s malt body and big, fresh aroma.”

ABV: 6.2%
IBU: 54
Malts: 2 Row, Munich, and Caramel
Hops: Chinook, CTZ, Cascade, and Centennial


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