Beers in Review: In which we define "palate wrecker"

Three very different beers on tap for review today. We'll get into what the post title means in a bit.

Leading off is the Shot Down Chocolate Stout from Fort Collins Brewery. As expected, the stout is a dark brown to cola color (the brewery calls it "light black", which made me laugh a bit). I normally struggle to pull a lot out of the aroma, but lots of roasty and toasty notes were detectable in the Shot Down. The roast and toast continue in the flavors, along with the expected present-but-not-overpowering chocolate. There were also hints of smoke and coffee, and as I drank, I discovered the cocoa and chocolate notes tended to hang around on the palate after drinking.

Next up is a small batch single IPA from Weyerbacher Brewing Company simply known as IPA #1. Pouring a pretty gold color, 4 different hops used in the making of this IPA result in a massive and complex hop flavor profile. Dank and funky along with some tropical notes all powered to the front of the sip, and I also detected some herbal notes further on in the sip. The bitter notes are very prominent and linger after drinking. To me, this is what's known as a "palate wrecker": a beer where the flavors are so overwhelming that you can't really have any more beers and expect to get any accurate flavors from them. Some IPAs with strong hop profiles, such as this Weyerbacher IPA #1, can fall into this category (and one such IPA is actually called "Palate Wrecker"). You just hope it doesn't fall at the beginning of a drinking session, like it did for me. I enjoyed this beer, but I found my taste buds overwhelmed after the fact.

Finally, a live tasting of Sierra Nevada's wheat ale, called Kellerweis. It pours a fairly clear pale gold color, and had about a quarter-inch of pure white head (foam) that has mostly dissipated after sitting about 10 minutes, though a surface layer still exists. Upon the first sip, sweet flavors, including mild grape and lots of spice notes are heavily present. Cloves, among the spices, is at the forefront, as is common in many hefeweisens/wheat ales. Notes of banana are also present nearing the end of the sip, along with some bready and mealy notes. This is a fairly well-executed example of the hefeweisen style.