Up to this point, I have managed to review Firestone’s “Luponic Distortion” series from “revolution” number one, up through revolution number three. Due sadly it seems to a distribution issue which to this day I have no clue about, number four never made its way to my desk or column. All the same however, despite it being several months ago the delicious and artfully crafted revolution number three does still stick out in my memory as one of the nicer IPAs I enjoyed over 2016 and thus lays groundwork for a certain level of excitement over this fifth iteration of this revolving hop series.
Now prior to leaping straight into this, I feel it important to remind everyone of just what the “Luponic Distortion” series even is. To put it simply this is a beer – or rather series of beers – which every ninety days or so has its recipe rearranged and changed with the use of different hops. While it may come as a surprise to some if not many, hops themselves are not the single strain plant many believe them to be, but are in fact a madly diverse weed with as many if not more strains and variants than its genetic cousin, cannabis. Thus it falls to me regularly in my daily life as a beer seller to try to explore such with those who swear up and down that they simply hate the taste of hop, so as to challenge them to try some newer varieties, often ultimately leading to them discovering one they simple love and cannot get enough of.
It isn’t a universal thing, but its common enough to warrant bringing up.
So then, it’s now onto this beer in particular. As memory serves, the revolution number 003 was itself awash in the sorts of juicy, citrusy flavor notes I typically go in for with my own preferred IPAs. Mixing up the crafting by using a total of five domestic strains of American hops, Firestone is somewhat bucking something of a trend that emerged over the past year which often favored pacific rim and New Zealand hops. All the same however in this beer we find what I feel fair to call yet another winner from the California brewery.
Pouring the sort of beautiful pale golden color one expects and hopes for, the nose to this beer is clean and straightforward with its equal parts grassy and citrusy hints, preparing the palate for something of a zesty rush to be sure. At a sip, we’re presented with the very level and variety of grapefruit-esque juiciness our nose had clued us into, while at the same time a definitively west coast hint of piney resin and grassy green. At 5.9% ABV the number 005 falls right into the sweet spot for crisp and enjoyable IPAs, allowing such to be an easy sipper on the one hand while not lacking flavor or effect in totality in the tail end.
So it is for this and for whatever comes next in the Luponic Distortion series that I say to Firestone Walker, to the ongoing hop revolution and of course to you, as I always do…
While the brewery may have provided the product mentioned above for free, I was not required to write a positive review, I did not receive any monetary compensation, and the honest opinions I have expressed are my own.
Nicholas Goroff is an actor, writer and craft beer reviewer at EveryJoe.com. Certified as a Cicerone beer server, he is working towards obtaining certification as a beer judge while employed at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, NH. When not reviewing beer, wine and spirits, he is typically writing political essays, screenplays and short fiction. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.
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