For this installment of Tasting Notes, a few cans of Coco Flamingo Double IPA from Wild Leap Brew Co. (LaGrange, Georgia) and TrimTab Brewing (Birmingham, Alabama) provide us with a tropical escape from a Tuesday afternoon in the office.
Released at the tail end of June as Wild Leap Brew Co.’s first ever collaboration project and the first beer TrimTab Brewing has brewed in collaboration with a Georgia brewery, Coco Flamingo is a Hazy Double India Pale Ale made with “a blend of tangerine, key lime, and toasted coconut.” Tropical in nature, Coco Flamingo (8% ABV) has “a unique flavor profile” that will most assuredly “take you straight to the islands!”
Coco Flamingo was introduced during the last week of June 2019 and it is possible that a few cans or kegs could still be floating around out there. Look for this Limited Release to possibly be available in 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.
Now that all the background data has been properly covered, let’s pour up some island vibes and get into these Tasting Notes!
Tasting Notes for Coco Flamingo Double IPA from Wild Leap Brew Co. & TrimTab Brewing
Appearance: A steady pour from a 12 oz. can produces a Double IPA that is a deep, caramelized orange in color and capped with a perfect finger of slightly off-white foam. When held to direct light, those caramel tones soften to create more of a dark orange-juice-like appearance. This beer is quite hazy (bordering on murky), leaving it mostly opaque. Head retention is decent, casually falling to a thin ring that leaves spotty lacing at times.
Aroma: Notes of sweet tangerine, citrus oils and cedar present themselves as soon as the can is opened. A distinct lime presence (both juice and zest) then surfaces to further establish the citrus profile while a sweet fruit punch character adds some contrast. A grace of toasted coconut rests in the background, adding to the beer’s tropical character while providing a bit more sweetness.
Taste: Tangerine leads the way here as well and is joined by notes of sweet orange juice, mixed berries, pineapple and lime zest. A beautiful cedar quality then works its way in to provide a citrus-laced woody note. A touch of vanilla (which we believe is hop sourced) swirls about with the fruitier tones, but that floral sweetness is seemingly only here to provide balance and draw a bit of attention to the toasty malt backbone. Coconut turns up near the finish, but it translates more like an earthy, semi-sweet coconut water rather than just candied, toasted coconut. The balance here is on point.
Mouthfeel: On the full side of medium in body with a mild carbonation, this beer is soft and silky on the palate. It does lean to the juicy/sweet side at times, but the hops kick in with some bright lime notes and sharp cedar tones to push things back into the area of balance. The 8% ABV is unbelievably tame, and that keeps drinkability super high. The aftertaste reads as a sip of coconut water with a twist of tangerine.
Final Thoughts: On paper, a “Coconut, Tangerine & Lime DIPA” sounds like it could be either one of two things:
- A mess
- A heavenly concoction that will leave us wondering why there are not more in existence
Luckily, Wild Leap and TrimTab put their heads together and came up with a way to ensure that the second option would unquestionably apply to Coco Flamingo. It appears they pulled this off by having a deft hand with the added toasted coconut and letting the Sabro and Lotus hops provide the majority of the coconut and vanilla notes. This (along with that surprisingly clutch note of cedar) provides balance and allows the coconut notes to translate as natural (instead of artificial or sun-tan-lotion-like). Sure, this means that the overall experience reads more as an exotic Double IPA rather than a super sweet tropical cocktail, but we all showed up here for a Double IPA anyway. All in all, Coco Flamingo is an incredibly well-composed beer that is a beautiful pairing for any summer day. Prost!