Post by SJLOhioBeer
Beer Name: Alchemy Hour
Brewery: Great Lakes Brewing Company
Beer Style: Double India Pale Ale
Size: 12 oz. bottle
Beer Advocate: 96
RateBeer: 99 overall… a 97 in Double IPAs
I was wandering through the local “go-to” bottle shop, browsing the usual suspects and learning about some new ones (sliding both into an abandoned, cardboard 6-pack carrier) when I had grown bored and decided to stroll my way to their deli. Along the way, I came across an aisle display that was a beer and wine smorgasbord, which had a few, unopened cases of this brightly colored (teal and orange) box I had never seen before. The box read “Great Lakes Brewing Co. Alchemy Hour Double IPA.” The box immediately hooked me; a brand new, double IPA from an Ohio brewery? “Yeah, I am buying this,” I thought. Immediately after, it hit me, “I will be the first person to purchase this beer from The Anderson’s Store.” I took the 4 pack of Alchemy Hour, along with my 6 pack of random IPAs and stouts, and bolted to the checkout register.
I poured Alchemy Hour into a tulip glass where it was a mostly clear, honey gold/amber color. I poured carefully and was given about 3/4 a finger of off-white colored head. The head stays around a good while and the lacing is also persistent, leaving noticeable streaks of white down your glass with every sip.
Immediately after the pour you’re hit with an overwhelming amount of sweet, tropical/citrus fruit smells (if I had to put my finger on it, I would say pineapple, tangerine and mango) with maybe a little bit of honey to ease the sour and then you are given a little pinch of earthy/grassy hop aroma that reminds you “this is a Double IPA, not a CAPRI SUN.” The sweet scent of fruit followed by the slight bitterness is really quite a nice, balanced aroma.
The taste of this beer gives you a little bit of a surprise; the citrus fruit and honey are very prominent but the earthy and floral hops seem to take the reins of this beer… and for me, that curveball was enjoyable. The immediate and giant bomb of fruit and honey with a little bit of earthy bite in the aroma seemed to be a precursor for the same in taste, but that’s just not the case. Earthy, floral and a slight bit of piney hops really dominate the back end of this beer. The little bit of alcohol you can taste (I was surprised with how little alcohol you could taste in this with it being almost 10% and all) at the finish of your sip would be hidden with more hops on the front end and more fruit on the back. However, Alchemy Hour is not nearly as sticky as I imagined it to be. In fact, I was a bit taken back by it’s mouthfeel. It has a pretty decent amount of carbonation but had an almost creamy quality to it.
Overall, this is the best product that Great Lakes Brewing Company has put out (or at least that I’ve had). I enjoy GLBC’s other India Pale Ales (Commodore Perry and Lake Erie Monster) but I really think this one blows those 2 out of the water and is pretty darn close to being an elite DIPA.
Sessionabliltiy: 4-pack. The aroma alone is enough to keep coming back for one, after another, after another. But then, when your palate is expecting sweet fruit and is then hit by hops you wonder, “how’d they do that!?” and you find yourself falling further down Alchemy Hour’s rabbit hole.
Overall: 5-pack. Like I said before, I really enjoy this beer and I think that GLBC is on the cusp of having one of the best Double IPAs around.
Best Consumed: I am really hoping for an exceptionally warm day in the next few weeks to enjoy this beer with a giant, juicy, still dripping pink, lean, grass fed beef burger… or maybe even a steak burrito… or even better, steak and chicken kebabs!