Thursday, September 22

Beer Review: Laurelwood Gearhead IPA

Many may know that I am a huge fan of Laurelwood. I started going there on a regular basis when they just started at the long lost pizza joint which is now the very good Columbia River Brewing Co. It was a treat to get in there for a Piston Pale Ale, or a Boss IPA from the now Brewmaster of Hopworks Brewing. Then Chad stepped in at a time of great growth and great hops. I am sad to see Workhorse turn into a thing of the past. But with Chad leaving, we have a great deal to look forward to with Vasilios Gletsos. Chad is in Bend currently firing up Worthy Brewing which I am sure will not disappoint. I picked up a bomber of Gearhead at Bridgetown Beerhouse because I saw it there along with the Stingy Jack Pumpkin Ale which I was surprised to see bottled. I paid $4.95 for the bomber of Gearhead. I won't compare the beer to Workhorse.. as I don't think any IPA could really compare to it as it is probably my favorite IPA. But... I thought Workhorse bottled was a bad idea. It wasn't the same from the bottle, and many places that carried it didn't pay attention to the date in which they received it. I have purchased a few bad bottles of Workhorse.. and unfortunately they are not bottle-dated. I like the name Gearhead, being a certified mechanic, and Mopar enthusiast. Let's see if it is worthy.


Appearance: (3.5)
- Darker caramel copper color.. mostly clear, and a couple fingers of frothy white foam.. settles to a large foamy ring, and some scattered pockets creating a thin blanket. Not quite the west coast look I was looking for. Little dark like an Amber.

Smell: (4.0)
- I can see they were really aiming for the citrus aromas here. First off I get a huge lemon-like zest punch right to the face. Lots of pine, citrus, and herbal aromas. Nice caramel malt backing.. bready, and slightly sweet. Piney hops really show up front.

Taste: (4.0)
- Very balanced. Certainly plentiful with northwest hops. Lots of pine, citrus, and grassy zest. Rides nicely with a subtle and not-too-sweet caramel malt backing. Easily stands out as a unique IPA. Almost a tea-like quality to it. Not bad.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Overall it is a well carbonated medium bodied brew. It's dry. I like dry. The finish really leaves the tongue feeling dry but yet the watering continues for more because of the zesty fresh tasting hops. Resinous (as stated on the bottle) is true. Slightly sticky. Chewy a little.

Overall: (3.5)
- Overall this is a very solid and well balanced IPA. Does it stand out from many? Yes of course. But it doesn't rise above like I would expect it to. Though very solid, and certainly holds up to many of the other local offerings around. It isn't the west coast style light colored biscuity IPA I was looking for, but it certainly has some unique and zesty aromas. Certainly does display some talent in brewing.

B+ / 3.88

(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

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