Earlier today, I made a trek up to Joliet’s Cardinal Liquors. I hadn’t been there in quite some time. Wonder if anything had changed.
Sure as shit, there was a big section of beer boxes all piled on top of each other. What struck me was that there was a case of Gumballhead mixed in with the others. Cardinal has never had any 3Floyds beers since I’ve been going there.
On the shelves, Floyds had a section of real estate all to itself and some room on the top for some of their bombers. What jumped out at me was Arctic Panzer Wolf and it was only a dollar more than it cost at the brewery. I couldn’t believe it. The last I saw APW for sale, it was about 5 years ago in Morris where the store owner had the price set at $14.99. Bastard. There was Space Station Middle Finger, Robert the Bruce and a few others in bombers which were probably new concoctions.
Why all of a sudden is there an abundance of 3Floyds’ beers? And here of all places? I didn’t care. I thought about trying one of the other brews… but then my tongue and palate ganged up on me and made me buy Arctic Panzer Wolf which I would write about for the third time. Hope you guys don’t mind. Hell, I don’t.
Speaking of beer abundance, I spotted cases of Alaskan Brewing Co. at the local beer store here in town. I hadn’t the time to look at all the beers that were there, but there was an amber ale, an IPA, a wit beer and I think the Hopothermia DIPA. Stay tuned.
3Floyds beers and beers from Alaska. Next thing you know, I’ll be able to buy a bomber of Pliny the Elder at my local BP.
The logic behind this is probably brewery expansion and success for these and other craft brewers.
Enough talk, three time’s a charm. Here we go.
The beer poured a slightly hazy yellow-orange. A nice thick white head formed at the top and only a few strings of micro-bubbles were trailing their way upward. The aroma had a bit of that piney hop smell to it and also some sweetness.
The first sip was absolutely amazing. Just as I remember it. A nice big mouthfeel carrying a large charge of taste. There was a citrusy front to the sip which blended nicely with the swallow, which was really not that bitter. Everything going on ahead of the swallow is where the money’s at.
The brewmaster has hit upon a perfect medley of hops to turn Panzer Wolf into a world class beverage. But what those hops are, remains a mystery. First off, 3Fs beers are usually hard to get the farther from Munster, Indiana you go. Therefore there’s little speculation about a beer that not too many people have tried. A Goog search reveals nothing of anyone’s attempt at creating a clone recipe. Perhaps on my next visit to Floyds I’ll pump the wait staff for answers and perhaps there will be a brewer on duty.
I’d say, take the basic Zombie Dust clone Spook Powder recipe and start from there. Some tropical flavoring hops, perhaps some Simcoe with Columbus and maybe Citra and/or Mosaic. Floyds wouldn’t use those exotic New Zealand hops because I think Floyds is deeply rooted in traditional brewing.
The last time I had this beer it was on tap at the brewery. I remember it being a bit fresher and “brighter” if I can toss that word in. Tonight, poured from a bomber, it seemed to have lost some of the brightness in favor of more citrusy tastes up front. even though the bottled-on date was 9/8/17, two weeks ago. But each time I go back to take another tear off the glassful, I’m left with a mouthful of smiles. I love this beer.
As you can surmise, I highly recommend this beer. APW is top tier and can stand tall and proud among all the other great DIPAs out there. If you find yourself traveling through Indiana via I-80, it would do you well to detour in Munster and visit 3Floyds’ package store. Prices are reasonable for what you’re getting.
Boy, ya just can’t beat this Arctic Panzer Wolf. Mmm-MMM!
Style: Double/Imperial IPA
Taste: Citrus, tropical fruit and happiness in one swallow.
Smoothness: Nice and easy.
Bang for the buck: This time, you can’t beat it.
Amount paid: $10.99 per 22-ounce bottle.
Get it again? Oh, hell yeah.
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: Kind of cloudy. (sniff) Bitter smelling. (sip) Oh yeah. Oh. Very bitter. (sip) But at the end I almost get a little sweetness. (She’s afraid of dogs so I understand why she doesn’t like the Wolf.)
The Sci-Fi Heavy Metal Beer: Craftwerk 3 Floyds [8:04] – watch again if you care.