Despite embarking on several evenings of back-to-back Star Wars viewing with my youngest during our most recent bout of COVID, we're yet to make it to The Mandalorian. But if this pair of IPAs name-checking the series are any guide, perhaps it should be added to the watch list.
It's not the first time Wolf of the Willows have put out twin IPAs, but here you have one hazy and one West Coast clocking in at the same ABV rather than the Inner and Double Vision series' more disparate offerings. There's show references aplenty – "larger than the Arvala-7 desert", a "Spotchka-inspired" mouthfeel – but for geeks of another persuasion, with The Haze Has Spoken, you're looking at Mosaic, Citra and Azacca hops for the aromatics, rolled oats, rolled wheat and Verdant yeast for the softness and haze. As for the liquid, it pours with the milky texture of a dense pineapple juice and some of its prickle too when it comes to the bitterness. The aromas and flavours branch out beyond pineapple while remaining in the realm of citrusy and tropical.
Now, given a choice between a West Coast and an East Coast IPA, I'm going to plump for the former pretty much every time, so take this as you will, but if The Haze is good, West Coast Is The Way is bloody good. Pouring pale copper and bright, the combination of fruity Amarillo, Strata and Citra hops with as-yet-unnamed HBC 586 lends it more contemporary stylings than an old school Westie – there's sherbet oranges and candy berries and juicy fruits and oaky underpinnings – yet structurally it's worthy of the lineage. There's no little drying bitterness to accompany a slick sweetness, albeit a slickness that feels as much hop oil-derived as anything malt-related. It packs in plenty yet retains a drinkability thanks to its poise.
[Enter witty Mandalorian-related sign-off here]
Published May 2, 2023 2023-05-02 00:00:00