Taft's Gavel Banger American IPA

When two brothers agree that I should try a particular Cincinnati beer, who am I to argue? I mean, they both have been drinking beer longer than I have, and they know my penchant for hoppy beers, so they know the audience and the topic - seems like a sure thing. Well, I've never had a Taft's before, and it's time to break that streak.

The delightfully amber-gold beer has just what I like to see - a sticky head that leaves lacing and a patchy quilt on top of the beer. Many of you may wonder why I always comment about liking a patchy head that leaves lacing, and I'll tell you that it just happens to be my preference, and I think the good IPAs tend to have this kind of head - but I haven't systematically gone through my reviews to validate this anecdotal observation. The aroma is citrus and biscuits.

First sip is very nice indeed. It isn't really hard-hitting at first, but it builds up (and this is just a sip, mind you) to a full throated citrus and hoppy bitterness. The trail-off is actually a little tart, but the buttery biscuit is not too far away from it. I am liking this from the get-go.

Tip-in is moderate carbonation tingle with grapefruit and lemon wedges. The middle is where the malt surges forward to dull the bitterness (which is still there, but not overwhelming) as the fruits dance their dangerous dance of hoppiness. The finish is a sudden clash of bitterness and tartness that, again, is quelled nicely by the malt before the tart and buttery trail-off.

Bottom Line: Bang that gavel all day long, damnit!



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