This coming Monday is the big day. Well, it’s actually the tenth big day. More on that in a minute.
Updated. Information on Alpha Abstraction X is at the end of the post.
It has been very well-documented that Wild Leap in LaGrange continues to churn out amazing beers. Voted best new brewery in the country, they don’t just specialize in one style of beer. You want something sour? Done. Feeling like you want to go dark and heavy? They have you covered. Need a lawnmower beer after that workout? They’re your huckleberry.
But they probably have gained more acclaim and praise over the Alpha Abstraction series. Wild Leap first burst onto the scene with Alpha Abstraction Volume 1 in June 2018. It was an absolute home run, and so the series has continued. Every version, if I recall correctly, has clocked in at exactly 8% ABV. Always double dry-hopped, but always with a different hop or combination of hops.
Well, the tenth version of Alpha Abstraction will be released on Monday. Early social media teases make it seem as though it will simply be called ‘X’. In an effort to keep thing straight, I decided to list the nine previous versions, and which hops they featured. And I added a brief description of the flavor profile of each of those hops as well. As soon as details on X are released, I’ll update this post with the latest …
Volume 1: A combination of Loral and Citra hops
Loral – Mostly known for carrying lemony-citrus flavors and aromas, it also adds a floral and sometimes peppery character.
Citra – Citra has a pretty wide array, most notably citrus flavors (obviously), like lime, grapefruit, and orange.
Volume 2: Citra and Galaxy hops
(Note, the next seven versions feature a singular hop, instead of Citra plus a second one.)
Galaxy – Galaxy brings straight fruit flavors – nothing bitter or pine tree-esque. Think citrus, pineapple, tropical fruit.
Volume 3: Mosaic
Mosaic is all over the map, depending on how and when it’s used in the process. Some say that Galaxy brings in berry flavors or even sweeter notes, like bubblegum. Others will argue that Galaxy can be grassy or piney, with a little bit of peppery spice.
Volume 4: Denali
Denali has four main flavors … pineapple, citrus, pineapple, and more citrus. That’s it.
Volume 5: Nelson Sauvin
A newer varietal, this hop has some crisp white wine characteristics – with hints of apricot and mango.
Volume 6: Lotus
This was an experimental hop without a real name when Wild Leap chose it. Now known as Lotus, this hop has a phenomenal combination of tropical fruit, vanilla, and orange.
Volume 7: Barbe Rouge
Developed in the Alsace region of France, Barbe Rouge takes the rouge to heart, bringing aromas and flavors or red currant, strawberry, and raspberry into dance with the tropical fruit flavors.
Volume 8: Enigma
Somewhat like Mosaic, Enigma hops can take on a wide variety of flavors, depending on a lot of factors. This Australian hop serves a chameleon role in the brewing process and can be heavier (red currant and raspberry) or lighter/ crisper (pinto gris and tropical fruit.)
Volume 9: Michigan Chinook
These fellas can bring the heat – both with some spice and some smoky/ piney flavors. They can be aggressive when overused, but also bring a distinct grapefruit flavor when done properly.
Volume X: Strata and Cashmere
On Monday, December 9, Wild Leap announced that AA X will be available next week and features Strata and Cashmere hops.
Strata – I’ve heard these described as ‘passion fruit pot.’ On the fruit side, you’ll get some mango and passion fruit, with a little grapefruit mixed in. On the other side, well … you know. There’s going to be a hint of cannabis, for those of you who know what that might taste like.
Cashmere – Cashmere can bring in notes of coconut, melon, and grapefruit, but can also a coriander aroma. This one tends to be a little more delicate, so it will be interesting to see how this pairs with the Strata flavors. I cannot wait to try this one!