Saturday Night Blue Collar Brew Review –
    Three Floyds BrooDoo Harvest Ale


Friday came with a feeling of optimism as there was no announcement for Saturday work overtime. The whole 2 days for myself. I buzzed on over to the Four Seasons Beer Store with the intention of picking up something for after work and a review beer for Saturday night.

Last week I spotted some new additions from Three Floyds. There was Arctic Panzer Wolf, BrooDoo and at least one other that I couldn’t remember. Before leaving on the beer run, I stopped by Three Floyds’ website to see if I could see what would be on the shelf. Ah, there it was… Munster Fest.

Upon entering the store, I beelined it right to where the 3Fs beers were. All three were there and were available in bombers, all neatly lined up. Hmm… There were only two bombers of the BrooDoo left on the shelf. It must be popular, I thought. Giving no regard to the other possibly rare 3F beers, I snatched up the last two bottles of BrooDoo Harvest Ale, cringing at the price for the remainder of the paying process.

Three Floyds consistently has many beers on the best beer lists and their Robert the Bruce Scottish Ale is my frequent goto beer for entertainment of the palate. The brewery has an awesome reputation. Their Dark Lord Day is a frequent topic of discussion at the homebrew club.

With the beer safely stashed in the beer fridge, I looked into just what style of beer I’d be drinking. I thought that a Harvest Ale would be the traditional brown, malty beer with great body and a good malt backbone. I was wrong. It was an IPA. (Sweet!)

How can 3Fs really call this a Harvest Ale when it’s an IPA? The label revealed the truth:

BrooDoo Harvest Ale is a seasonal ale that glorifies American hops. BrooDoo is brewed using fresh green “wet” hops picked right from the vine and put into our beer vats, from vine to brew house in 1 day! BrooDoo also uses the best American malt money can buy.

The name refers to the hop harvest and definitely not meaning a brown autumn ale style of beer. The price of the malts and the special hops is reflected in the price of the bomber weighing in at 11 bucks a bottle. This was Dogfish Head country!

As Saturday night beer time approached, I wondered what this oddly named beer would offer me. Would it be something that will completely bowl me over with outrageous hops or would it be a clever concoction of a malt/hop balance with a surprise inside?

When the time finally came, I was prepared with a preferred snifter glass and a fresh palate and wanted to be taken away on two trips at 11 bucks a ticket on a 7% solution.

The beer poured with a brownish-orange color and the liquid itself was rather hazy. Gazillions of micro-bubbles made their way slowly toward the top. The top was an inch thick with slightly off-white, slightly yellow bubbles. The aroma had “hop bomb” written all over it.

The first sip was rather surprising. The body of this beer was about medium, I knew it had a malt backbone. The stars of this show were the hops and there were a bunch of ‘em in there. The malt backbone was merely a carrier for huge hop flavor that dominates each sip.

The hop flavors were all towards the bittering side rather than the flavoring or aroma side. It was hops for hops’ sake. Nowhere could I detect any overt citrus tastes. Perhaps a tad bit of orange, but grapefruit was a no-show. This was a stab-in-the-throat beer, obviously designed to be as such.

There was an underlying sweetness that soon came forward which more than likely was a meld of the crystal malts and the tiny bit that hops may have contributed. But that hop bitterness kept drawing me back for another sip. There was something about it I couldn’t put my finger on.

The sips continued and the bittering abated slightly. More of the malt characteristics came forward. The sweetness was more apparent. This beer was a joy to drink. It fired up my memory banks and made me think of the other great IPAs that had become my favorites. Hopslam, Dreadnaught, Lake Erie Monster. This one could be added to that list right behind Dreadnaught, another Three Floyds beer. Hmm. I wondered how this beer would compare to Dreadnaught. I looked up Dreadnaught on the 3F website and read where it was brewed more toward the citrus side. This BrooDoo is strictly uncitrusy and all ‘bittery’ in my opinion. Both being a exercise in hops but for different reasons and flavors.

Three Floyds has another hit on its hand with this beer. The bitterness in each sip is like a scolding with a smile. Each swallow is not a torture but stern talking-to. Deliciously bitter and subtly sweet. BrooDoo would be a welcomed addition to any beer fridge and any craft beer drinking palate.

The SixPackTech ratings for Three Floyds BrooDoo Harvest Ale are:

Taste: A- > A surprise for your tonsils, a delight for your tongue.
Smoothness: A- > Not overwhelming in any degree.
Drinkability: B+ > Stop when your throat protests. It won’t.
Bang for the buck: B- > A bit pricey for what you get.
ABV: 7%
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: It looks orangey. (sip) I can taste the citrus. Ya get the bitter for a few seconds and then it clears up. (sip) I find it a bit drying. (sip) We’ve definitely had far worse, though. (It’s like every other week she visits from Jupiter.)

BeerAdvocate rates.
RateBeer rates.

Video review from ZE Beer Review. (Guy nails the taste of this beer.)

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