After the very embarrassing write-up of FruitJitsu (delicious as it was, I was very drunk), I felt like I needed a good palette cleanser to hopefully save face. Plus I’m pretty sure I was still hungover from drinking four 13% beers in half an evening without having eaten dinner, so I figured a little bit of the hair of the dog. So I asked our friends at BottleMixx, and they recommended California brewery Firestone Walker! I was excited, as I’ve heard a lot about them but hadn’t had the opportunity to try them yet. So I picked up an IPA of theirs, Luponic Distortion, and decided to give them a whirl!

Luponic Distortion is a special beer, the recipe changes around every 90 days to include a new experimental hop, not unlike Burial’s Ceremonial Session IPA. From their site, they explain Revolution 009 of LD honors hops whose rights haven’t been acquired by Big Hop business, the public domain hops. The ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’ and ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ of hops, only instead of being basic and a little boring, these public domain hops are exciting and flavorful!

Aroma: 11/12

The opening notes of this beer’s aroma are all Pacific Northwest, floral and bright and beautiful. It has thinner aroma to not overwhelm, and a touch of citrus to round out the experience.

Appearance: 3/3

As you can see, the beer pours a beautiful straw-gold, clean as a whistle with a nice white foam. The lacing down the glass as I drank it was very nice, consistent without being overly present. Also, I love the design of the cans from Firestone. Simple but elegant. Like Mike, but…elegant.

Mouthfeel: 4/5

Ew. Not at the mouthfeel. But at the word mouthfeel. I will continue to dislike talking about it.

Flavor: 16/20

The citrusy, floral notes continue past the nose of the beer and into the front end of the sip. The malt presence is light and crisp, though I wouldn’t have minded a little more malt and body to it. On the backend of the taste, you get a great fruit character that is indicative of those German hops, and rounds out the flavor profile of this dichotomous IPA.

Overall Impression: 9/10

Man, oh man, this beer is great. Totaling 43 out of 50 possible points in the BJCP scoring guide, it’s a top-notch IPA. The craftsmanship behind this beer is evident in the aroma, flavor, and look of it, and at BottleMixx these bad boys are just 2 bucks a can, which is a great price for such a good beer. Honestly, since this beer clocks in at 5.9%, it’s a great tailgate beer as it’s not too heavy and not too strong, but packs a great flavor to it. While not technically a session, I’ll still likely have a few of these at the end of the year tailgate this year.

I highly recommend heading out to The ‘Mixx (what those cool hip kids are calling it, I think) (ah, who am I kidding, I have been out of touch with the cool, hip kids since I was, like, 6, so I don’t know what they call anything)! While you’re there, pick up a can or two of Luponic Distortion 009, and maybe some other Firestone Walker options! Check out the Cheaters Never Win beer of the week, and just enjoy the great knowledge and service you get there. And maybe one of their beers on tap while you shop!

As always, friends, enjoy this and any other adult beverages that you’d like, but always drink responsibly. Set a designated driver if you’re going to be out drinking, or make sure to use Uber or Lyft to avoid drinking and driving. Know your limits, and don’t go outside of them too much; drinking is all well and good, but binging is best left for Netflix and bags of Doritos.

I hope to see you all out for the last tailgate of the year! Cheers!