Beers in Review: Asheville-Best of Wicked Weed

If you've seen the two recent videos I released, you got an overview of my recent trip to Asheville, North Carolina, home of countless craft breweries and beer bars. The next few or several) Beers in Review posts will include more in-depth reviews or descriptions of some of the more notable beers from the trip. We'll start off with three from our first brewery stop, Wicked Weed Brewing.

First is Wicked Weed's flagship IPA, Pernicious. A recent medalist at the prestigious Great American Beer Festival, this beer brings forward a vast array of flavors. There were moderate tropical fruit and perhaps dark fruit notes (which may have all been running together), along with some pine and resin hints as well. There was also maybe just a little bit of dankness. This was a really tasty beer with a wide and wild variety of hop flavor notes.

Next is their beer tribute to Prince, an "experimental ale" called The Artist Formerly Known As. Owing to its experimental style designation, it is an ale brewed using purple rice, which can have a nutty taste, and assorted Indian spices. It pours a "turmeric orange" (their description--I expect turmeric is one of those Indian spices). Admittedly, I don't have an extensive knowledge of Indian cuisine, but the ale left me with an overall impression of curry powder. Some of the flavor notes include spiciness, woodiness, and a slight sweetness. A unique beer, unlike anything I've had before.

Finally from Wicked Weed, Hop Burglar, poured on Nitro. I've tried describing what this means before, but Wicked Weed gives a great description on their website:

The addition of Nitrogren to a beer gives way to much smaller bubbles, creating a smoother, creamier experience. It also creates a beautiful cascading head that makes our brewers’ mouths water.

It gets a tad flowery at the end, but the point is well-made. Pouring a pretty orange color, my overall impression of this beer was that it's a hybrid of a Pale Ale and an ESB, an English-style malty, bitter, ale. The Nitrogen use may be playing a role in this--occasionally you will see similar beers to this on Nitro. Fruity notes are present-a result of the use of blood orange and grapefruit. Most notably, this is a well-balanced beer, with both hop and malt notes shining through.