Beer from Here: Seventh Son Humulus Nimbus

Written by on February 26, 2014 in Beer, Beer from Here - No comments

seventh sonHumulus Nimbus – scientifically, a cloud made out of hop plants. Beertifically, a pale ale from Seventh Son Brewing. One represents the hopeful future of beer (who wouldn’t want a hop cloud raining down craft brews), the other a current offering of tastiness from one of Columbus’ craft breweries. And, as the weather continues to tease us with its roller coaster of spring to winter changes, what better way to block out the persistent snow and ice than a pale golden ale of liquid sunshine? A thunder-beer storm, perhaps, but my last attempt to seed clouds with hops and malts proved disappointing. Luckily, you can find the next best thing at the Seventh Son HQ on North 4th street. Until then, brace yourselves. Weather puns are coming.

As a pale ale, bright and hoppy are the expected adjectives du jour. And Humulus’ aroma is exactly that – a snappy burst of tropical fruit and pine. Bitter vibes similar to an IPA rise up and add an edge of crisp, floral spiciness that mingles with faint notes of grapefruit and a splash of pineapple. The pine notes bring about blooms of green freshness, but do so from underneath the main layer of citrus that swirls about the nose. Beneath the hops, a touch of caramel malts appear now and then, bringing brief moments of sweet and savory bread and crackers that fade amongst the fruits. The bouquet is most certainly a fluffy cloud of hops, but the malty hints add a touch of subdued heaviness that not only adds some complexity, but also a feeling of mystery – much like the calm before the storm.

In contrast to the aroma, your palate is greeted with a balance of hoppy brightness and malts. The hops are foremost on the tongue, providing a tropical burst of grapefruit and passion fruit aided by a slight pine push from underneath. The bitterness lacks the crazy resin qualities of an IPA, instead using the natural bite of citrus peel and tropical fruits to bring about that hoppy kick. There’s also a bit of fruit-juice sweetness that sets up at the sides of the mouth, buried beneath the freshness of the hops. While the hops are working their magic, the malts arrive with crackery notes and the same sweet and savory caramel from the aroma. The malts settle over the back of the tongue without an overly clinging feel. Instead, the beer lingers for a bit before rolling through – much like the storm cloud that the beer was named for. As the flavors continue, they begin to alternate – shifting the predominate notes back and forth. The hops slide from citrus to dense pine, swirling between malty hints that grow and diminish with each drink. Every now and then, the hops will darken a bit, creating a funky vibe of earthy heaviness before bubbling back into brightness after a second or two. As the flavors begin to fade, spicy notes of hop flowers linger alongside a dusting of cracker malts before diminishing completely and awaiting the next drink, like clouds melting away in the noon sun. It’s difficult not to yearn for warmer days when drinking this beer.

The combination of bright hops and mellow malts create an ale of wonderful refreshment. In fact, it is the beer-equivalent of the end of Happy Gilmore –  having Carl Weathers, Abe Lincoln and an alligator (surrounded by clouds of course) wave down at you from heaven, congratulating you on such a fine choice of imbibement. Or, you know, just damn tasty. On the tongue, it’s easy like Sunday morning, hiding even the most minute traces of alcohol within its whispy embrace and offering up pure, flavorful goodness for your drinking pleasure. A hop-potent aroma shifts into a balanced mouthful of tropical fruit bitterness and sidekick cracker malts, achieving a tasty equilibrium of snappy freshness and mild richness. A pale ale through and through, the swirling flavors always remain centered around the hop, allowing some tasty depth and complexity while ensuring the Hoppy Rain Gods remain satiated. While not yet available as a naturally occurring weather phenomenon,  Seventh Son’s Humulus Nimbus is available at bars, pubs, stores and restaurants all over town, so you’ll need not look to the sky in search of tastiness – a short drive is all that’s needed. So get out there and get your nimbus on, or else I’ll keep making cloud puns.

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About the Author

Paul is an English and creative writing graduate and homebrewer who loves beer, writing, writing about beer, and drinking while writing. When he's not browsing beer sections for hours on end, (or coming up with his own brew recipes) he can be found over at dailybeardblog.com, inventing words and somehow managing to make sense.

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