Description:Downward Spiral is an imperial version of our Hopside Down
india style pale lager that was aged on new oak spirals. This bold wood-aged
beer is an aggressively hopped, cold-fermented brew that brings together the
clean, crisp finish of a lager with the hop character of Anipa, balanced by
distinct oak flavors and aromas. Wood is good. Prost! — Widmer Brothers Brewing
Random thoughts: Downward Spiral is the latest installment in Widmer Brothers
W Series. I’ve tasted and enjoyed a few oak-aged Imperial IPAs. The oak adds an
extra dimension which can work well with the style—especially imperial versions.
This beer was not aged in oak barrels. Instead oak sprials were added to
beer (in fermentation tanks) for the final 10-14 days of fermentation.
The tasting: Deep golden in color, clear, with a white head that dissipates
fairly slowly. The aroma is full of citrus and tropical fruit. Grapefruit, mandarin
orange, mango, as well as a bit of alcohol are present in the nose. The taste
starts with grapefruit bitterness. In the middle, biscuit and light caramel
malt flavors emerge along with some boozy alcohol. Hop bitterness is moderate
to high, but the malt backbone helps to keeps the bitterness in check. Downward Spiral is medium
bodied, has a creamy mouth feel, and finishes with grapefruit and toasted oak.
4 star. Really Good! I want this again! When it comes to oak, less can be more. It usually adds a
unique complexity, but too much can overwhelm. Downward Spiral has a great balance
of oaky, hoppy, and malty flavors. Downward Spiral should be available until early 2014.