For this week’s installment of Tasting Notes, we turned to the heavens for guidance and the beer gods led us to Angelica from Lord Hobo Brewing Co. (Woburn, Massachusetts).
Introduced earlier this year as one of the newest additions to Lord Hobo’s Year-Round portfolio, Angelica is an American Wheat Beer that employs the use of the incredibly popular “brewing techniques and ingredients used in ‘New England-Style’ or ‘Hazy IPAs’.” By uniting “the sought-after haze and juice-like qualities [with] the more traditional characteristics of wheat beer”, Angelica New England Wheat (5.5% ABV) comes together to be “a highly quaffable beer that showcases the bready, tangy, and elegant sweetness of a wheat beer with the juicy, tropical fruit characteristics attributed from the highly acclaimed Mosaic hop varietal.”
Angelica is available Year-Round in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at craft beer-friendly retailers, bars and restaurants located in Florida, Massachusetts and throughout the rest of Lord Hobo’s distribution footprint.
Now that we are all a bit more familiar with Angelica’s intentions, let’s get into these Tasting Notes and see how it all translates.
Tasting Notes for Angelica from Lord Hobo Brewing Co.
Appearance: When served in Lord Hobo’s logo Belgian-style tulip glass, this beer resembles a large, glowing Lemonhead (yes, that bright yellow candy from your youth) that is wearing 1.5 fingers of pure white, bubbly foam. When held to direct light, that bright yellow tone holds and radiates with almost blinding vibrancy. The beer is incredibly hazy, making it almost opaque and nearly impossible to get a visual read on its carbonation level. Head retention is decent, eventually condensing to a thin, airy cap that occasionally leaves thick slabs of lace behind on the glass.
Aroma: The aroma is basically just an in-depth meditation on Mosaic hops as it is full of musty mango and peach, pineapple, lemongrass, berry, pine and soft herbal notes. The malts are mild and honestly lost in the all-consuming, juicy hoppiness billowing from the glass . . . not that there is anything wrong with that.
Taste: The hops take point here as well, leading with lemon and various other citrus notes. This smoothly shifts to tropical tones of mango, guava, pineapple, and mixed berries. Lemongrass then blooms and coaxes out gentle notes of pine and herb. The wheat surfaces near the finish to offer a semblance of balance with a little bready sweetness and a slightly tangy character.
Mouthfeel: Straight-up medium in body with a middling carbonation level, the wheatiness of Angelica really shines here by creating a silky-smooth texture and a pleasant weight. It is mostly hoppy on the palate, but the wheat does a really nice job balancing things out enough so that the experience is not at all bitter or harsh. As expected, the 5.5% ABV is not noticeable. The aftertaste is all citrus-soaked mango.
Final Thoughts: Angelica achieves exactly what it set out to do by finding a comfortable and sensical place somewhere between the worlds of New England-style Pale Ales/IPAs and American Wheat Beers. It has that clean hop flavor you expect from a Lord Hobo offering, but it has an even more reduced level of bitterness and a silkier mouthfeel than their Pale Ales, IPAs and Double IPAs. By fully embracing the 40% wheat addition in its recipe, Angelica takes just the right amount of steps toward that American Wheat Beer to set itself apart. This is not a beer with an identity crisis. No . . . this beer definitely has an identity and it is all its own. No matter what your allegiances may or may not be to the haze craze, you need to check this beer out. Prost!