FAO Sarah and other hop-haters: STAY FAR, FAR AWAY FROM THIS BEER IT WILL KILL YOU D-E-D DEAD.*
Name: HogWild IPA
Origin: Aviator Brewing Co., Fuquay-Varina, NC
Style: American IBU
IBU: 108 (technically, anything over 100 isn’t really measurable to any sort of real accuracy, so this is probably along the lines of a guess. However, I can attest to saying “yeah, that makes a lot of sense.”)
I drank this: on tap at the Hibernian, Cary, NC
I will start out by saying that this is easily one of the most bitter beers I have ever had in my entire drinking life, and this coming from a confirmed hophead of the past five-plus years. I mean, I LOVE HOPS. I love most bitter things – like Campari for example, a bitter aperitif that makes many of my friends gag (and which myself, my father-in-law, and most of the Caribbean adore). To me, Campari is bitter with a really nice sweet touch to it. From what I can tell, most people don’t notice any kind of sweetness in Campari, so that should serve as an example of just
how weird my taste buds are how much I like bitter flavors.
Aviator’s HogWild is too bitter for me.
The best thing I can say about this is that I want a perfume of this beer in the worstest of all possible ways. It smells like this gloriously wonderful combination of pink and white grapefruits and neroli. Heavily citrus with hints of herbal-floral hops. AMAZING.
I often make the distinction between “flavor’ hops and “bite” hops (please note: not technical terms) – the “flavor” hops provide a bitter flavor to the beer (obviously), and the “bite” hops provide a sharp sort of sensation, like the beer is trying to eat its way into your tongue or something like that – it’s a feeling that can be borderline painful when it’s really strong.
I mention this because both types of hop sensations are going on full force in this beer. There’s a ton of extremely bitter flavor – I imagine it’s reminiscent of chewing on a mouthful of neroli – but the hop bite is so intensely painful that I can’t really narrow down any sort of subtlety to the flavor. My tasting notes say “HOLYWOAHCEILINGCATBITTERWTFBBQ!!!1!!!!!!1!!1!eleven!!!” (a phrase which I imagine to be helpful to roughly two of you, but which I’m sharing because I feel it sums up the experience of drinking this beer).
The aftertaste is like upending a shaker of salt over a pile of lemon pith and chewing. And the aftertaste LASTS FOREVER. This was the killer for me. BLERG, I say unto you.
Ultimately, I have to say that I find this beer to be too unbalanced to enjoy. Managing to cram 108 IBUs into a beer is quite a feat, so I’m impressed at their sheer hopping ability, but I don’t feel like there’s enough of a malt backbone to stand up (or even cower before) such intense hoppiness. I assume there are malts in this beer; I also assume the malts are the unpopular teenagers tricked into having a party while the parents are out-of-town, and that they have shut themselves in a small closet, whimpering as their parents’ house is destroyed by the drunken popular kids.
My tongue is cowering in that closet with the malts, wondering how long we’ll all be grounded.
*if you know the reference here, I love you forever.