Just when you think Big Ditch has made a perfect beer e.g., their flagship beer Hayburner, they change things up in the best way possible. Since it’s birth Big Ditch’s Hayburner could be found all over Buffalo, you could say it took over in other words. In some discussions I’ve had with fellow craft beer lovers it’s been said that Hayburner is not only a flagship of Big Ditch but also of Buffalo. I couldn’t agree more. So when I heard about a new version of it I knew I would have to grab some and write about it.
So here we are!
The Beer: Passion Fruit Hayburner by Big Ditch Brewing Company
ABV: 7.2% IBU: 84
Whether you look on the side of the can or on Big Ditch’s website you will find a nice synopsis of what to expect when diving into a Passion Fruit Hayburner.
‘This version of our flagship IPA contains hundreds of pounds of passion fruit infused into the beer after fermentation to add an even more intense tropical kick to Hayburner’s already powerful citrus flavor and aroma.’
Crack It Open
When first cracking open the can I was instantly hit with some enticing citrus notes that would bite at my nose. I’m not at all surprised because the original Hayburner was full of citrus to the core. The CTZ and Casacade hops produce such nice citrus aromas that are so easily noticed. After filling my glass I was able to pick up on the passion fruit used post-fermentation. It provides a nice tropical addition to the already enticing citrus aromas. After letting things settle I took another good sniff and noticed a slight change in things. The citrus aromas took a back seat and allowed the tropical aromas from the passion fruit and Falconer’s Flight hops to take over. Though I wouldn’t say it was aggressive in nature, it gave the aromas a more tropical over tone with some bites of citrus throughout. Very nice, I’m surely enjoying the change of things from the original Hayburner.
Appearance wise it’s not much different from the original Hayburner, boasting a strong golden straw color. Passion Fruit Hayburner is unfiltered and possess a nice haze to it. You won’t be seeing much of anything through this beer. The Carapils malts provide a nice creamy head with some retention to it. Providing an even more refreshing appearance to Passion Fruit Hayburner.
So far I would this is shaping up to be a perfect beer to stock up on for the summer.
Feel The Burn
One thing I must say Passion Fruit Hayburner is a beer that could easily be drank fast, though you will miss out on some nice qualities. The first one I had was a quickie before getting things settled and dinner started for my daughter and it was delicious. Now that I’m taking it slower I am noticing some very unique features making it even more enjoyable.
When given time to fully enjoy Passion Fruit Hayburner do not be surprised if you notice a transition of flavors throughout each sip. When first taking a sip I am noticing the flagship citrus notes of Hayburner that will remain steady throughout the entire sip. This could be from a combination of CTZ, Cascade, and Falconer’s Flight hops. After letting it sit for a quick second I’m starting to notice some nice tropical notes jump out at me, this is where the passion fruit makes its appearance flavor wise. What is even better is with each sip, I’m getting some nice tropical aromas. It’s a beautiful thing. Heading into mid-sip I am noticing more tropical and passion fruit notes than citrus. Though this won’t last long. The citrus bite comes back at the end of the sip making one last stand before the bitter after taste comes in.
The after taste of this beer is excellent, definitely worth mentioning. I would like to point out the perfect use of Warrior and Glacier hops that provide a clean bitterness to Passion Fruit Hayburner. It’s not overwhelming but noticeable and noteworthy. In comparison to the original Hayburner, Passion Fruit is more clean with less of a citrus bite. Don’t take it for granted though, the after taste packs a nice punch. At first there is a quick citrus strike but after that the passion fruit steps up. I’m not sure if this is just me but there might be some notes of berry with the passion fruit after taste. I’m not sure, but I still have a slight inkling towards it. As time goes on though the passion fruit slowly dwindles and the citrus becomes more prominent and possessive of the late after taste. Though I’m still able to pick up on notes of each.
The overall mouthfeel sits between a medium and full body. Though there is a nice cream residue left behind, almost enhancing the after taste of each sip.
End Of The Line
The original Hayburner is a delicious beer that one could never go wrong with. The Passion Fruit version possess attributes of the original but still holds unique traits that makes it a beer of its own. It would definitely stand out in a crowd. With the combination of citrus and passion fruit within each can is a delicious beer that I would love to have an endless supply of. I could easily see myself drinking this beer in 80 degree weather. Though I would exercise caution when consuming Passion Fruit Hayburner it hides the 7.2% ABV very well. Consider yourself warned!
Big Ditch I love what you’ve done with an already perfect beer. It’s admirable how you are continuously pushing the boundaries and refusing to become complacent with your brewing.