Friday, December 30, 2011

Three Floyds Broo Doo Harvest Ale Review

I love that scene in Casino in which De Niro is doing the voice over and describing his semi-partner in crime, Tommy's, rules of engagement.  Of Tommy he says something like, if you bring a knife to the fight, he brings a gun, and the fight won't be over until one of you two is dead.  I think an IPA fight between you and Three Floyds would similarly end in a fatality.  Police chalk would be on the sidewalk. Consider their one-upmanship ability with IPA's.  First they come at you with Blackheart.  Then they hit you with Arctic Panzer Wolf.  As if that's not enough, they'll cream you with Dreadnaught.  And just when you think they've exhausted their arsenal, they'll uncock the Broo Doo. These guys are truly IPA assassins.

Perhaps you are not aware of Broo Doo. It's a lesser known, limited availability harvest ale from the IPA godfathers, Three Floyds, and is arguably the best harvest ale out there.  Some harvest ales, such as Bridgeport Hop Harvest shortchange you on hop flavor as well as body.  What makes Broo Doo special is that its obvious power is accompanied by artisan restraint

Out of all of the harvest ales I've tried, Broo Doo reminds me most of the experience of drinking a tropical West Coast IPA.  It's hazy orange in color with gigantic billowing head.  You smell tremendous amounts of grapefruit on it and a whiff of pine.  The body is modestly dense and and perhaps a bit creamy, not nearly as creamy as its English IPA brethren, the Blackheart.  I'd describe the mouthfeel as a touch more rugged that that. Hops are huge in this beer but never overwhelm you.  You get a lot of orange peel and some grapefruit with a nod to pine.  Good amounts of resins coat the palate.  The mix never tilts towards being overwhelming as a touch of sweeter malts and that bit of creaminess arrive late to hold it in check.

Broo Doo is a bit atypical in this regard.  Founders Harvest Ale is more representative of what brewers are trying to achieve with harvest ales as it's got a juicy hop characteristic with some chewy resins.  Broo Doo has less of that aspect and is more of a straight up West Coast IPA. It never really builds up that much on your tongue and finishes spectacularly. I can see why this was so hard to get this on tap - sadly, I never did. Of course it's a 93 at Beer Advocate. 

There's still some of it out there on the market in bottles but good luck finding it.  You may need to get some protection to secure some.  If you know what I mean. 


4.5 out of 5 stars. 


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