While cruising around on Penuche’s Facebook page looking for shows early last week, I noticed a post saying that Lithermans Limited had made them a beer, and that it was to debut on Thursday. When Lithermans makes a new beer, it’s always a good idea to check it out, and when they make a beer exclusively for one place, it can’t be ignored.
I got to everybody’s favorite basement bar about 4:30 on Thursday afternoon, hoping to get the freshest pint possible. The new beer is called Read Icculous, and it’s a double dry-hopped double IPA – what a mouthful (though isn’t that the point?). It checks in at a robust 8 percent alcohol by volume, earning its double IPA classification with ease. It’s also only on tap, and again, only at Penuche’s.
This is a hazy, golden-yellow beer, hinting at New England IPA-style juiciness. I was surprised, however, after taking the first sip, to discover that it was actually pretty dry, more typical of a classic, West-Coast IPA than a New England style. In my mind, when I see haze, I expect a juicy beer, but this one was closer to dry than juicy.
The most obvious characteristic of Read Icculous is the strong hoppiness. This one is very hoppy and on the bitter side, so if you’re new to IPAs, double IPAs or just hop-forward beers in general, you might want to warm up with something a little milder first.
If you’re like me and you can’t get enough of the hops, this will be right up your alley. I do love a tart, pungent, hop-heavy IPA, and this one checks every box – in bold ink. I wouldn’t call it citrusy, like many strong IPAs are, but it’s more of a straight-up herbal hop flavor that’s really refreshing and satisfying. The bitterness lingers just long enough to let you know what you’re drinking.
While it’s high in alcohol, you won’t notice it with every sip – this beer won’t assault your tongue or make you pucker or wince. That said, you’ll want to be careful with this one. I took my time sipping on it, knowing that a pint of an 8-percenter is nothing to take lightly.
If you love bold, super-hoppy craft brews, get to Penuche’s and try this before it’s gone.