Katy and Sasha are the contributors for Ottawa Beer Events! They have distinctly different palates and in this segment they go head-to-head tasting Ottawa beer. This week they sample Dominion City Brewing Company's Land is Strong.
You know you drink a lot of bitter IPAs when you sip on something that's labelled 92 IBU and you marvel at the Belgian yeast characteristics over the bitterness.
Land is Strong pours a cloudy copper with a rich, creamy off-white head that vanishes leaving little trace. The aroma is full of phenols – spicy clove, pepper, even a little banana, with some hop earthiness coming in as an afterthought. There's more of that banana, pepper, clove craziness in the flavour, but with added caramel malt notes and a bitter hop-filled finish with a nice alcohol warmth (expected at 8% ABV).
A good beer, but I feel the yeast characteristics are taking centre stage when it was supposed to be the fresh Cascade hops turn to shine.
Land is Strong wet-hopped Belgian IPA is the first of Dominion City's Terroir series, which will feature a different regionally-sourced ingredient in each brew.
For this beer they chose fresh-picked Cascade hops from Lot 17 Hop Yard in Campbellford, ON which is apparent both in the aroma and taste.
The pour was light orange-brown in color with a thick off-white head that dissipated pretty quickly.
I felt as though the earthy bitterness from the hops overpowered all of the other characteristics when the beer was first poured, but once you gave it time to breathe, the sweet caramel malt started to shine through along with herbal & pepper notes.
At 8% the beer packs a 1-2 punch and you can detect a hint of booziness on the finish so you may want to stick with grumblers if you aren't wiling to share, which is possible as overall its a very nice balanced choice.