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May 22nd, 2013 JORDAN GREEN | Drank
 

Drank: Pipewrench IPA (Gigantic Brewing)

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One of the problems with the cutting edge of brewing is, you’re just as likely to get nicked yourself. Gigantic Brewing, with its eclectic array of brewing oddities and schizophrenic label designs, has suffered its share of growing pains. It’s not that Gigantic’s offerings don’t stand out, it’s that the quality hasn’t necessarily lived up to the brewery’s grand ambitions. Consider Pipewrench IPA the breakthrough for the Southeast Portland brewhouse. While IPAs aged in oak or old Champagne barrels aren’t new, they certainly aren’t common. IPAs are generally characterized by floral and citrus notes, flavors not necessarily enhanced by long rests in bourbon and rum barrels. But want to know what liquor is floral and pairs well with citrus? Gin. The pairing works even more gloriously than you’d expect. Gigantic plopped its medium-bodied IPA into Old Tom Gin barrels from Sheridan-based Ransom Spirits. The result of all those floral and herbal notes bouncing back and forth is marvelous. The gin notes are hinted at, and the result is a bright, drinkable IPA perfect for summery weather. The beer is limited—only two kegs are currently available—but I’m hoping Pipewrench enters Gigantic’s everyday rotation. Recommended.

 
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