Coming in hot, here we are again with Brewview#36! Flying Bison just released Thundersnow IPA this past Wednesday, though I was unable to be there I still found myself fortunate enough to pick up a six pack on Friday. While there I was able to grab a pint of Thundersnow on draft and it was delicious, if I wasn’t time constrained with picking up my new vehicle it most likely would have been multiple pints. But that is why they bottle beer, for future enjoyment in the comfort of your own home.
So what is Thundersnow?
‘Thundersnow IPA is an unfiltered IPA that’s a light golden haze in color reminiscent of a snowstorm. It’s brewed with wintery hops such as Denali and Glacier and perfect for keeping warm this season.’
Great introduction, thank you Flying Bison!
Let’s jump into it, shall we?
The Beer: Thundersnow IPA by Flying Bison Brewing Company
Crack Open That Bottle
I am so excited to crack open this bottle! Wow, the aromas of Thundersnow are amazing and really hit you in the face, or nose depending upon how you want to look at it. All kidding aside though, these aromas are mouth watering. The Denali hops are predominant with their tropical fruit contributions. It’s really easy to pick up on the mango, pineapple, and in the background you also pick up on some floral notes. The floral aroma is not very strong, but it sits in the back as a good support. After focusing for a bit on the aromas I’m thinking there is a little bit from the Glacier hops as well. A very small addition, even minuscule, of a herby, earthy tone. Again, it’s not something I picked up on right away I really had to get deep in the glass to appreciate it, but still very nice. I most likely would have missed it if it wasn’t for my wife’s pregnancy enhanced sense of smell. Thanks Toots!
Besides the aromas, Thundersnow has a very refreshing appearance as well. The head was not large by any means, but sure maintained some nice retention. Though it was only one finger width, it’s remained at the top for the past 15 minutes and then leaves a nice foamy residue on the side. From my research Winter Wheat and Flaked Barley allow for nice head retention. Very appealing. Just as Flying Bison said Thundersnow’s is hazy, very hazy at that, and a light golden color.
All around Thundersnow’s first impression is amazing and from my previous experience at the brewery will not let you down.
I’m about 3/4’s through my first bottle…I’m kind of surprised it lasted that long…So before I being this section I’m going to grab a fresh bottle.
Thundersnow is everything you would expect it to be when you look at the hops and malts. Let’s discuss the malts first. The Pilsner and Winter Wheat provides a small amount of sweetness that will accent the flavors provided by the hops. Combine the Pilsner and Pale Ale malts and you can get a sense of malt flavor that provides Thundersnow with a solid base. Besides head retention the Winter Wheat provides a small earthy flavor that again accents the fruity flavors from the hops. The Flaked Barely is very easy to pick up on especially when it comes to mouth feel. It’s not overwhelming, if anything it more so gives you a warm insulated feeling inside your mouth. Sounds very familiar, Flying Bison knew exactly what they were doing when mentioning that this beer is ‘perfect for keeping warm this winter.’
Let’s move onto the hops. When looking at the two hops, I’m thinking it is fairly obvious the Denali holds the spot light. Though the Glacier is very present and easy noticeable. Similar to the aromas, the Denali brings in a tropical fruit flavor, mostly mango and pineapple. To be honest, the pineapple flavor is the strongest out of everything. When it comes to the back end of the sip I’m noticing a nice floral note. A smooth transition to the bitter end. Accenting the floral notes, Glacier brings in a herb type flavor. Both the floral and herb flavor provide a nice subtlety that brings Thundersnow full circle. Without them I feel the warmth that Flying Bison spoke of wouldn’t be as powerful. Between the malts and hops Flying Bison truly did create a beer that would keep you warm throughout the cold wintery season.
So we are left with the bitterness of this beer. I find it humorous that the ABV and IBU match if you take away the decimal in the ABV. Clever. In all seriousness though, an IBU rating of 77 is pretty accurate and not at all surprising when looking at the Alpha Acid Range of the hops. Denali sits between 13-15% and Denali clocks in around 9%. Combine the bitterness and mouthfeel and you’re left with an excellent after taste. The bitterness doesn’t hold too much of a bite, I guess you could say it lingers in hopes of being refreshed with another sip.
It’s the End of the Blog As We Know It
So how do I sum up Flying Bison’s Thundersnow IPA? That’s a tough question, I guess my answer is that it ranks among the best. Thundersnow is truly a refreshing and warming beer. Combing the creamy mouthfeel with the tropical fruit overtones, you’ll get a beer that could bring down the Abominable Snowman. Well done Flying Bison, I’m sure I’ll be by to pick up one or two more six packs sometime soon!
Thanks for reading as always! Let me know what you think! Cheers!
Keep them coming Flying Bison!