After my post on the Simcoe based Howler Imperial Pale Ale, I am going to keep this one short and sweet. You all know by now that I really like Black Husky beers, and I was stoked to find a bottle of E-Series after everyone I talked to told me that it had long since sold out. Apparently someone forgot to tell one of my favorite liquor stores that, because I found a bottle of Howler E-Series nestled in behind a couple other bottles as though someone put it there to keep it from being purchased and forgot about it. Oh well, their loss, my gain.
Please check out my first Howler post if you are interested in finding out more. On to the review:
Howler currently does not have a score on either of the two major review sites... On with the review.
You don't name a brewery after a dog (Black Husky Brewing named after Howler) unless he's an exceptional dog. Not that Howler listened exceptionally well, or was an exceptionally good sled dog - he sucked! But he was a dog who lived his life as we all hope to live - with Grace. Howler's philosophy could best be put in the words "Don't tell me what I can and can't do. Oh wait, there's a beer. OK." Howler once said to me, "Don't get pushed around, have some dignity, enjoy the buffet, a good beer, and take time for naps."
Tim Eichinger adds:
It’s pretty straightforward. Lots of malt, honey and Simcoe hops. The style Imperial Pale Ale, is really driven by our designations than BJCP. Since Howler is the dog on the pale ale and this is a bigger version of that beer we call it an Imperial Pale ale. It’s probably a triple IPA or something like that. There are so many double IPA's out there right now that don't have the malt that Howler does that I think it’s hard to make the comparison.
Howler E-series pours a brilliantly clear caramel color with reddish highlights. It has a thick, creamy white head that holds moderate retention before fading to a collar around the edges of the glass and leaves heavy lacing in the glass. Hop aromas come to the forefront in E-Series with strong notes of papaya, backed up by a lemon/lime aroma along the lines of 7up. Caramel malts mix in alongside (I know this sounds weird) fresh green bell pepper and fresh Honeycrisp apple. Light herbal notes and a hint of sweet booze come through on the back end.
The flavor comes in along the same lines as the aroma. Papaya and herbal notes blend with fresh green bell pepper, lemon and lime from the hops. Caramel malts create a strong malt backbone that stands up to the high hop bitterness, serving to mellow it out a bit. Sweet alcohol and fresh green bell pepper brings up the back end of the flavor with caramel malts, sweet alcohol, and papaya lingering in the aftertaste. Howler E-Series is moderately full bodied, with a moderate level of carbonation.
Howler E-Series is wonderfully complex, perfectly showcasing how a simple switch between two hops can drastically alter both the aroma and flavor of an excellent beer. E-Series yet again reaffirms my belief that Tim Eichinger deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence as many of the Wisconsin’s best commercial brewers. I am torn between hoping Black Husky releases another Howler E-Series next year, and hoping that they use whatever new hop has hit the market when Howler is re-released. Personally, I would love to see a version of Howler brewed with Nelson Sauvin, one of my favorite hops...
When the Howler variant is released next year, I know I will be picking up as many bottles as I am allowed to haul out of the liquor store!
That’s all for tonight! Have a great weekend!