Friday, April 27, 2012

Rock Art "Extreme" Magnumus ete Tomahawkus

The first of the Extreme series of Rock Art beers resembling something of a European extra special/ strong bitter (ESB). I bought this one on a whim while visiting the Sweet Clover Market in Essex. Kristine and I sampled a few hoppy ales in preparation for the nice weather to come.

Alcohol Content: 8%
IBU: 80
Malts: ?, Caramel/Crystal
Hops: Magnum, Tomahawk (Columbus), Tettnang

Price: $6.00/ 22oz Bomber
Medium: Pint glass (Nonick glass preferred)

Aroma: Lots of caramel and dried fruit characteristics from the malts combined with moderately fruity esters - from yeast, hops, or a combination of both. Hop aroma is moderately low with a floralness to it. The carbonation is very forward and sort of scrubs the nose with each inhale. Other malty notes are molasses and honey (which is common from the use of treacle in British-style ESB). No diacetyl or other strong off-flavors - moderately warm from the alcohol instead.
Appearance: Hazy with a strong flowing head and bubbly carbonation. Color lies somewhere along the lines of copper, golden, and amber altogether. Its tan/brown head vanishes to a thin lacing rather quickly.
Flavor: Moderately strong caramel malts start, supporting the strong bitterness through to the finish. Warm alcohol can be described as sweet - perhaps too "hot" for the style. Hop flavors are lightly earthy but the bitterness feels clean otherwise (but still strong). Moderately fruity esters. Caramel malts rounds off and alcohol becomes ever-more present into the aftertaste. Fairly balanced.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, seemingly fit for the style although it leans more towards a fuller experience due to the larger volume of malts, hops, and alcohol. High carbonation helps clean the palate of its 80 IBU profile (caramel malts also help). Carbonation will typically be higher in bottled versions of ESB as opposed to traditional English-style drafts. Somewhat of an oily mouthfeel and dry finish to the fermentation character.
Overall Impression: Rock Art typically starts with a base style of beer and then disregards, which makes for uniquely crafted beers that find themselves in between styles or their own. This one is another example of that, with the label ESB2 (squared) referring to a ramped up version of the English Pale Ale. Tettnang hops are almost completely masked. Considerable yeast character, which is not uncommon.


  1. Hey man, what's up with the slacking?
    Check this out:

  2. So, did you send this to Hilvert yet? lol

    I'll see what I can do about paying a visit when I'm back in Chicago, whenever that may be. I'll be sure to let you know.