Monday, November 15, 2010

426. Left Hand/Terrapin Oxymoron

Ah, the collaboration: creating excitement and giddiness in beer nerds coast to coast. And who doesn’t love the collabo? While I could go with the all-purpose bad guy (that would be Nazis), I’m tempted to create a more appropriate nemesis for the blog. The Amish seem a good choice, what with their hatred of technology and all (although they do love bicycles, so that does give them some bonus points), but that also seems more like beating up your little brother—far too easy. So we’ll just call my search for a new nemesis the latest of my long line of failed contests. You got an idea for an appropriate nemesis besides, well, apathy? Here’s to letting me know. Previous beers from Left Hand include 400 Pound Monkey, Fade to Black and Milk Stout, while our previous beers from Terrapin include Hopsecutioner IPA, Wake ’N’ Bake (which was a bonus beer), and Rye Pale Ale.

Oxymoron pours an orange-ish caramel with a creamy eggshell head that reduces to a thin covering after a minute or so; the nose is a creamy caramel breadiness with a touch of hop spiciness and resin rounding out the aroma. As it warms, a more prevalent lager graininess emerges. Flavors begin with caramel before shifting to an accentuated creamy lager-esque character in the front; the middle has sweetness and a decent amount of bitterness, but less specific hop flavor—there is again some spiciness and resin that almost coalesces into evergreen, but not quite. There is some tacky biscuit dryness that returns in the finish, and a pleasant lingering bitterness that has a bit of the traditional lager bite to it. Oxymoron has a medium to medium heavy body with a chewy clean mouthfeel that is also slightly sticky; the carbonation is medium with some dryness from the hops as well as some creaminess on the back of the mouth. An interesting beer, but one that strikes us a bit too much between styles—it’s not quite an IPA, but not really a lager either. While we laud the experimentation—and the collaboration—the beer is more one-hit wonder than longstanding fan favorite.

From the bottle: “Sometime around midnight in a city nobody can agree on, the idea for Left Hand and Terrapin to brew a collaboration beer was born. Oxymoron is the third in a series of one-time releases between our two breweries. A combination of contradictions embodied in liquid form, Oxymoron is an American-style IPA brewed with three German malts, six German hop varieties, and a lager yeast strain. Obnoxious yet reserved, elevated yet modest, it's the embodiment of blending two brewing philosophies together in order to achieve singularity. Consider it an expression of cruel kindness.”

ABV: 7.2%
IBU: 65
Style: Teutonic India Pale Ale
Malts: Weyermann Pale Ale, Munich I, & CaraAmber
Hops: Magnum, Northern Brewer, Perle, Tradition, Spalter Select, & Hersbrucker
Dry Hops: Tradition, Spalter Select, & Hersbrucker


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