Surely something special about this Schlafly
A Review of Schlafly Special Release AIPA by Saint Louis Brewery, Inc. / Schlafly
Posted on 6/29/2011 by Brew's Your Daddy
I'm not sure what's gotten into me lately. I am finding myself really, and I mean REALLY enjoying the IPA spectrum these past few weeks. It could be that somewhere I got my hands on some weird food or something that totally ruined my taste buds, and now I totally taste things differently. Or, it could be that I have just recently managed to get my hands on some good quality IPAs. I really want to think its the latter. I was able to get my hands on a Schlafly Special Release AIPA(American India Pale Ale) a few days ago, and believe me when I tell you that I wish I had found it sooner.

When I got this one opened, fresh hops aromas oozed from the bottle before I could even grab a glass. It was very piney and bright. Fresh grapefruit was sitting right below the surface, along with some lemon zest and pineapple. And if I'm not mistaken, I even picked up on some pepper notes. Once poured, you had a glass of burnt orange nectar that was very eye catching. The head was thick, and when all was said and done, stayed with you for the majority of the session. Once I got back to the aromas, I noticed that there was a stronger than normal presence of malt in this one. I could sense some toffee and bread characteristics, and they both worked well with the crispness of the hops. I was getting the feeling that this beer was either going to be very balanced, or way out of whack.

The first taste lets you know that you no longer have anything to worry about. The upfront hops are very crisp, but not aggressive. You get a good taste of the grapefruit that was smelled earlier, and the pine cleanly comes through as well. This is the kind of hops presence that I have no problems with. Plenty of taste, and not an overload of bite. And much to my surprise and joy, the malt that I detected makes itself known without shame. The sweetness of the malt really comes through at the right time. It doesn't take control of the beer as much as it keeps it in line. There's not a battle between the sweet and the bitter, but more of a dance. They work as a team, and they work well. The mouthfeel very crisp and enjoyable. While the carbonation is a little low for MY preference, I know its where most would find it optimal. And after all is said and done, I am left with an aftertaste of that perfect balance of sweet and bitter. Simply put, delicious. If there is any drawback in the taste department, and I can't believe that I'm saying this, it's that you don't detect the 7.2% ABV at all. Seriously. None. While I worry that the combination of great tasting, smooth drinking, and high ABV might become very dangerous, I really couldn't care less. I'll take my chances!

The Schlafly Special Release AIPA hasn't been knocked out of the park. It's been blasted from a cannon into a different state. The aromas are vivid, the tastes are brilliant, and the combination of the two is nothing short of an amazing beer. All beer lovers should try this one. It's a great example of how a beer can be hoppy, crisp, sweet, smooth, balanced, and enjoyable all at the same time. There's a lot going on in this one, but nothing is distracting or overpowering. You want to take your time and enjoy all of its great qualities, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. I've never lied to any of you before, and I have no reason to start now. If you see this one, grab as many as you can. It's not just worthy of a spot in your fridge, it's demanding of an entire shelf.

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Schlafly Special Release AIPA by Saint Louis Brewery, Inc. / Schlafly
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