By John Antolos
Price Range : $5 - 13
Region: San Diego, California ABV: 6.8% IBU (Bitterness Units): 85
I’ve been on a MODERN TIMES kick lately, snatching up their new offerings at the market and running home to try them. They’re quickly becoming one of my favorite new breweries. I must admit, I was a little reluctant to try the Blazing World Hoppy Dank Amber Ale, not being a fan of ambers, but the hoppy dank part piqued my curiosity. For those of you unfamiliar with cannabis culture, “dank” refers to the sticky, smelly, resinous quality of really good weed. And because cannabis and hops are a related plant species, “dank” would be an appropriate way to describe the hoppy aromas emanating from my glass.
I’m not sure if the Amber in the beer’s name refers to the beer style or the color. The ale is a gorgeous amber color. Held up to the sun, the color was beautiful in the way amber jewelry can be. However, that’s as far as this amber ale goes. If you were to expect a traditional amber flavor profile, your expectations would be thwarted. There is a hint of the malty character of a traditional amber ale, but this ale is definitely more of an IPA. Even the aromas were more reminiscent of a Double IPA. The flavor profile is all pine, citrus and tropical fruits, given the generous use of Nelson Sauvin, Mosaic and Simcoe hops. And at 85 IBUs, this definitely does not an Amber Ale make. The bitterness lingers on the tongue, ending with a slightly dry finish that invites you to take another sip before the bitterness fades.
But what is “tradition” anymore, with today’s brewers pushing flavor and style boundaries? And Modern Times does pride itself on making experimental hybrid brews. Whether Amber ale or IPA, this is one delicious beer! —J.A.