Dangerously Close But No Cigar
Brewery: To Øl
Type: Imperial/ Double IPA
Cedar, a wood with the power to repel insect hordes, keep cigars fresh, and now it seems flavor beer. This will be my first foray into cedar IPA. I previously tried a cedar imperial stout, Amager and Cigar City's Xiquic And The Hero Twins. You can read the review of that if you want to learn about an amazing beer with a really cool depth of flavor. The cedar worked really great in a big dark beer, adding spice and complexity. That is why I am a little worried about how it will taste in a lighter beer.
Pours a hazy deep orange, a really lovely color just like the original dangerously close to stupid. Nice head retention. Slightly off white and stays around forever. The smell is split between two very distinct aromas. There are the resiny piney citrus fresh hops. Then everything else is cedar. Peppery and spiced cedar wood smell is very present in the nose. It combines with the fresh hop smell to give an overall impression of a closet full of pine trees. As I mostly relate the cedar smell to strong wards against insect in wardrobes, I can't say I am 100% enjoying it here. You can be sure though that no moths will be bothering your beer if you happen to leave it unattended. The taste is pretty much the same. If you have tried the original Dangerously Close to Stupid you will recognize the piney and lemony hop flavor mixed with a nice sweet malt backbone. That is of course if you can taste anything through the cedar. On the back label it says "...a handful of cedar chips to give a nice woody finish to the beer". Well if this is just a handful, I would hate to see what anymore would do. The cedar flavor is aggressive, that dry wood and pepper flavor dominates over everything. There are flashes of beautiful hoppy IPA flavor in here, but they are seen through a blackout curtain made of pungent cedar wood. Body is about medium, very dry, but that is way over amplified by the cedar wood. The aftertaste is long lasting and will leave moths running for the hills from your breath for days. Possibly less cedar flavor may have brought a bit of added complexity to an already good DIPA, but at these levels it is just a distraction and serves to be massively unbalanced.