Thursday, June 2, 2016

Octopus Wants to Fight

Over the past couple of years, Toronto brewer Great Lakes Brewery has come out with some pretty snazzy artwork on their cans, and in today's saturated craft-beer market, that's a good thing: having a package that stands out, that grabs your attention, is important if you want to get picked up.

But it's what's inside that counts if you want that product to have a chance of getting repeat buyers.

The octopus with boxing gloves was certainly an attention-getter. The name of the beer put a smile on my face, and I said to myself, "What the hell: I haven't had a GLB beer in about a year, so I might as well give it a try."

I'm glad I did.
Octopus Wants to Fight IPA (6.2% ABV)
Great Lakes Brewery
Etobicoke (Toronto), ON
Appearance: slightly unfiltered, deep gold to amber, with a foamy, off-white head that settles to a dense lace.

Nose: highly aromatic pine resin and grapefruit rind. It's slightly candied, with a touch of eucalyptus.

Palate: hops come in with a 1-2 punch. There's a bitter uppercut of grapefruit rind and a jab of flint. A peppery finish comes in for the K.O.

Overall impression: yup, this is one in-your-face IPA that comes out swinging and gracefully dances around your mouth. There's a lot of hoppiness but some solid citrus fruit.

Octopus Wants to Fight is a heavyweight IPA with which I wouldn't want to go more than a couple of rounds at one time, but it is a definite contender for future sessions. The packaging is unmistakable, but it's what's inside that makes this ale a keeper.

Beer O'Clock rating: 3.5


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