Drinking on a Monday is a short column where I share that one bottle that I open after the most dreadful of all weekdays.
If you read my recap of Firkfest this year, you’ll remember that I mentioned Figueroa Mountain Brewing as the best conditioned cask of the festival. It was something the really stood out to me, as cask can be so hit and miss. The beer I was awarding was a cask conditioned version of their Lizard’s Mouth Imperial IPA, and it poured from the cask with a perfect amount of light frothy head. I spoke with the rep from Fig Mountain as well and it sounds like they are really ramping up their cask program and have plans for a Santa Barbara County cask festival in the fall. My local bottle shop (Melrose Wine & Liquor!) received a shipment of this hop monster a few weeks ago, so I eagerly picked up a bottle to see how it compared to the cask version.
Lizard’s Mouth Imperial IPA pours a clear golden copper, with a white head that dissipates quite quickly into a bit of thin lacing around the glass. This is pretty typical of a lot of these Double IPA’s, where the head just can’t keep its shape against the booze content. The aroma here is a massive tropical explosion, with huge waves of mango, passionfruit and pine punching me in the face. The sip starts quite smooth – a prickly pine backbone with the expected tropical notes of mango, passionfruit and orange zest. There’s a bit of an alcohol burn that muddies the flavor but its hard to complain about that at 9.2%. The finish is a zip of citrus zest that lingers on the tongue but doesn’t cling to your cheeks the way some DIPAs do (for better or worse, depending on your preference).
I’ve got to be honest, prior to Firkfest I had sort of dismissed Fig Mountain as another one of the regional breweries pumping out decent, but not necessarily note-worthy brews. That cask certainly got my attention, and this bottle is good enough to keep it. They’ve sold a ticket for their cask festival for this blogger, and while Firestone’s Barrelworks might be the big Buellton draw, a visit to their taproom definitely makes that drive a bit more worth it.
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- Drinking On A Monday: Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace
- Drinking On A Monday: Flat Tail Brewing’s Humulus Lambicus
- Drinking On A Monday: Stone/Beachwood/Heretic Unapologetic IPA