This post originally appeared on the Longmont Compass on October 21, 2014 and is solely for portfolio purposes. 

 

Wicked Juju: Left Hand Brewing Company

Connor Magyar

 

There’s good beer, there’s great beer, and then there’s the beer that will blindside you with complex and balanced flavors on a random Monday afternoon. One such beer is Left Hand Brewing Company’s Wicked Juju, a special limited variation of their season Good Juju. This special batch was one brewed for Colorado Old Chicago locations in observance of Día de los Muertos.

Appearance: You know how Nitro Milk Stout looks really dark? It’s almost grey compared to the black-hole-in-a-cup that Wicked Juju is. The black beer sits heavy in the cup, difficult to agitate, but leaving slugs of thick canvas-colored foam when swirled in the glass. The head sits heartily on top, a thick layer that will dissipate according to how fast you drink. For me, that foam was not long for this world.

Aroma: Malt. Wicked Juju is the beer I would point to if someone wasn’t quite sure what malt smelled like. The sweet maltiness of the nose mixes with highlights of ginger so subtle you might think they were put there on accident. When you take your first sip you’ll be assured that it was no accident.

Flavor: As someone who prefers more of a tart/bitter flavor over a sweet flavor, Left Hand’s Good Juju is a beer that I have had many times. It’s a beer that I like. When I read that Left Hand would be releasing a special Imperial variety for a limited time I was excited to try it. I didn’t know that it would change what I thought of the capabilities of a ginger beer. Every drink starts with a mouthful of rich, slightly bitter malt with dashes of dark chocolate for a very pleasant combo of bitter and slight sweetness. The brightness of the ginger will explode in your mouth, crawl into your gums, and start to clear your sinuses. The dark, chewy malt and chocolate and the bright, energetic ginger are craftily balanced.

Overall Impression: Really? You want my overall impression? If the 321 words of high praise above aren’t clear enough, I’ll be blunt: This is one of my favorite beers ever. I don’t know if you’ll like it, but I can tell you that if you don’t, you need to seriously reconsider your life choices.

The Wicked Juju is around for a limited time available on tap for a limited time at Colorado Old Chicago locations and at Left Hand’s tap room in Longmont.

ABV: 6.4%