New Albanian Brewing Company has not dipped their toes in the highly hopped end of the spectrum very often but they do so very effectively with this offering.
Whether you call this a hoppy saison or an IPA brewed with a saison yeast does not matter. It is a very well constructed hoppy ale that aligns with the current trend/demand for bright/citrusy hops heavy beers.
I poured this slightly hazy amber/honey colored beer straight from a mini growler. The generous white head faded to a ring fairly quickly.
The smell of this beer is intense and complex displaying layers of citrus, chewing gum, and kaffir leaves. Bold and inviting aromas had me sniffing repeatedly.
The taste does not stray far from the aroma. Satsuma oranges and hard candy are right up front. There is a lightly earthy/basement character from the saison yeast that works well here. Ground pepper and lime add another layer of flavors. Lightly sweet overall but the tropical hops demand the attention in this beer. In the end lemon basil and orange pith give way to a gently parching finish.
The mouthfeel of this one was a bit creamy and somewhat dense. The carbonation was modest but adequate.
I was expecting this beer to taste like a Belgian IPA but the yeast profile is subtle here letting the hops express their large ego. The brewing team at NABC has crafted a gorgeous beer for hop-heads.