Beer Review: Rahr & Sons Brewing Company Visionary Brew Double IPA (2013)

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Brewery: Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
Beer: Visionary Brew American Double IPA (2013)
Style: American Double/Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.5%
Character: Sadly, no notes are found on this beer!
Metal Connection: DEVOLVED – Apocalyptic Visionary

skulls-reviews3-5

visionaryBrewYes, this one is a bit old, but I don’t care. I still wish to put this review up on the site, even though I had this one months ago. This particular beer has an interesting story behind it, one that was not so pleasing to me. Last year when me and the Mrs. attended the Untapped Beer & Music festival in Dallas, I was able to taste this beer at the Rahr & Sons booth. I really enjoyed it, and I had already began this website, so I wanted to put a proper review of the beer on the site to help support Texas local breweries.  I approached the person pouring the taps and asked about the availability of the bottles, and the reaction was like if I asked the most horrific question or something. Finally I said, well I am from San Antonio and I want to know when it will be available to me down there. The man laughed and said “San Antonio, never!”  I felt a little disrespected and ever since then, I have had a tiny sour feeling towards Rahr & Sons. I know it’s not the complete fault of the brewers, the owners, etc…but this guy was representing this company, and said something rude to a customer who actually loves the beers that come out of this place. When I saw this beer on shelves here in San Antonio, I really wish I could see this guy again and shove the bottle I bought right in his fat face! ha ha ha!

So now, here we are, I am finally going to give this beer a proper review. I look up info on this beer on the Rahr & Sons website, and…nothing! No mention at all about any of the Visionary Brews throughout the years. After looking through a few websites, I was able to piece together a story explaining that Rahr & Sons Visionary Brew is a limited release beer which the bottle features winning artwork in Fort Worth Weekly’s Visionary Awards. There has been two previous editions of Visionary Brew, one being a Bock (2011), and the other being a Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale (2012). This year’s edition is already released, and it is a Pumpkin Ale. I am hoping to get my hands on this year’s version for a later review. Well, as I said, there is no info found on this beer. I know nothing of what went into this beer.

Poured into a Big Hops Growler Station snifter glass, while at Big Hops, having beers with friends. The color is a semi-hazy amber color, crowned with a thin light tan colored bubbly head. Not a lot of head retention as is dwindled down to a tiny thin layer, leaving little spotty lacing down the glass.

The aroma was exactly what I love in a good regular and double IPA, a strong hop presence. Right away the hops make their appearance in the nose with piney, resinous notes. There is a subtle citrus, orange, and grapefruit aroma, as well. Even though the nose was dominated by the hops, there is a nice malty aroma present. Nice presence of caramel, toffee, and a bit of biscuit.

The taste is pretty on point with the aroma. Hop forward right off the bat. My taste buds picked up more citrus, orange, grapefruit than in the nose. There is a good mix of pine, and resinous hops. Good backbone of caramel or toffee. The end has a biscuit taste, with a good hot boozy burn as it goes down. The aftertaste is back to the hops again with an orange peel-like flavor.

There is a good medium-thick body. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, but it fell a bit flat. This beer was missing something, perhaps lack of carbonation.

Overall, I did like this beer, but was a bit put off by the flatness at the end. Maybe it was just my bottle, because I do remember it not being this way when I had the taste at the beer fest last year. Perhaps San Antonio wasn’t supposed to get this beer as the jerk indicated to me, but they ended up sending us the back stock or something, since we did not get this one right away. I do not know for sure these details, so I am not assuming anything, but rather just giving examples of what might have caused this beer to not be as memorable as the first time I had it. I still gave it a 3.5 rating, which means that I enjoyed it and would love to try it again, but I know that won’t happen as this beer has now been aging even longer, and more than likely, the hop profile has ran it’s course.

devolved-reprisalMetal Connection: Digging through the archives, I ran across the song “Apocalyptic Visionary” from the band Devolved.This song was featured on their full length album, Reprisal, from 2012 out on Unique Leader Records.  Devolved was originally from Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, but have since moved to Los Angeles, CA. In 2009, when I was working as a Concert Promoter, I had booked Devolved here in San Antonio. The show was mediocre at best, overall, but the band kicked major ass, and did the best in a crazy last minute change to the show. I have lost touch with this band over the years, but I am glad to see they are still active. Hopefully another album will be released soon, as Reprisal is the last thing released by Devolved. Enjoy the tune!

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