867: Le Freak

Name: Le Freak
Brewery: Green Flash Brewing Company
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: San Diego, California
Style: Belgian IPA
Alcohol Content (ABV): 9.2%
First Brewed: 2006
Price: $0.99

Tasting Notes

Pours a rather cloudy orange. Nose grassy with citrus notes, underlying sweetness as it warms. More hops in the flavor, orange marmalade and subtle spiciness. Ends on bitter notes.

Ricky’s Thoughts

I find it funny that this beer is listed on page 420. With the recent election, marijuana has been legalized in Washington state and in Colorado. The state of Arizona has also given permission for medical marijuana grow houses. Anyway, just a funny time for us to be drinking the beer on page 420. Does anyone know where the 4:20 thing came from?

The beer we are drinking is… well, a good one. Sheryl said, “Pick a good one.” OK, I will. And I did. Tonight we are drinking a bottle of the Green Flash Le Freak, a huge Belgian IPA. I have had this beer before, and actually bought a case of it from Total Wine & More. They dropped the price to $3.99, so I grabbed a case. Can’t beat that for an IPA that is over 9% ABV. Let’s see what this beer tastes like.

In the Glass: It is thick, and has a nice orange color to it. It was poured right out of the fridge, and has a weak thin white head on top. The lace is nice, but quickly finds itself back on top of the beer. Probably because the bubbles want back in the best beer Green Flash makes! Well, their Palate Wrecker is pretty great, too.

Nose: At first, I smell flowers. It has a very nice aroma to it. On a second whiff I am picking up some dirty grassy notes on the nose. Like I said, it’s ice cold, so I am sure the aroma is being masked just a little. But it has a nice aroma that you wouldn’t expect from a 9.2% beer. You don’t smell the booze at all.

Flavor: Oh. My. Goodness. This is a great IPA. It has all of the same characteristics that you picked up on the aroma, but then it leads to a dry, somewhat sweet aftertaste. But I will get to the aftertaste in a minute. Some tastings notes I read online talk about a citrus flavor, but I am just not getting much citrus here. The grass that I mentioned in the aroma is really obvious here on the palate. Yes, I like drinking grass. Lay off!

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice. Not a ton of bubbles, and while we are drinking this WAY too cold, the feeling on the tongue is totally worth writing home about. It slides across the tongue nice and cold, and leaves a thin layer of sweetness that I didn’t expect. Then I swallow, and my mouth is still excited. This beer has a very nice mouthfeel that I wish more brews modeled themselves after.

Aftertaste: Nice. It’s really nice. It has a quick finish that leads to the aftertaste, and it’s so good, I don’t even want to take another drink. it’s not dry at first, but quickly my mouth feels like cotton balls. There is a super dry finish that literally leaves me licking the inside of my mouth for more flavor. But that’s OK, because that dryness is what I hang on to. It hangs on for a few minutes, too. And all of those flavors that I am having along the way… the burp brings them all back to the center of the palate. I encourage you to burp on this one just to experience that flavor one more time.

This is a great beer, and even though I am a hop head, I would say this is a great place for a craft beer drinker to start when wanting to experience the true hops that a beer can produce. This one has a HUGE IBU, coming in over 100. There are some beers out there that do the same thing, hit triple digits… but they are always masked by the malt. Not here. Green Flash continues to impress me, and has done so again with the Le Freak. Bottoms up, people!

Le Freak – The bottle says: “ZESTY BREW”

Rating: 4/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

I don’t have any knowledge of tonight’s beer beforehand, like what it is or if I have had it before or anything, so I am just going to jump right in.  In the glass, the beer looks kind of a yellow-orange color.  There are a few little bubbles floating up to the top, but nothing major.  Also, there is not a lot of head, but what is there is just a little bit of white foam.  It looks a little bit thick, kind of like a wheat beer such as Blue Moon.  I told Ricky to pick something good, so let’s hope he picked something better than Blue Moon!  When I pick up the glass to smell it, I can tell that there is a strong scent right away.  The first thing I smell is citrus.  This beer smells very citrusy.  But when I pick it up again, I get more of a musky smell… that wet, musky scent that comes with a good beer.  Let’s find out how it tastes.

The first thing that hits me is the hops.  I honestly didn’t expect any kind of hoppy taste with this one, but it is definitely there.  I know Ricky likes IPAs… he is all about the hops.  There is a little bit of citrus and spice in there too, but mostly what I get is that aftertaste that to me is very characteristic of hops.  I like it, but this isn’t really my style of beer.  It is definitely a good flavor, and it has a lot to deal with once you take a drink.  This beer is all about the aftertaste and the heat that is left in your mouth after you swallow.  I do like it, but I’m not sure it would be one that I would go to in the store first if I was looking for something.  To me, it’s just kind of average on my list.

Rating: 3/5

866 bottles of beer on the wall…

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