Quick Take: This is a great IPA and one worth trying when encountered in the wild, but any comparisons to Heady Topper, which I have heard on a few occasions, should really be kicked aside. Wings isn’t rewriting the book on DIPAs, but damn if it’s not a delicious IPA that I will welcome into my mouth any time. I look forward to slamming this in the future whenever I see it, but I wouldn’t go to extraordinary lengths to get it.
Note: Big shout out to the Bulls Head for hooking me up with a glass. I showed up 10 minutes after the keg kicked and they were nice enough to share their personal supply with me. If you are ever in the Lancaster/Lititz area, you have to go to the Bulls Head pub. One of the best places around for cask beer as well.
Brew Facts: On the Wings of Armageddon is named after the supposed destruction of the world in Dec 2012 based on the misinterpretation of the Mayan calendar. It’s brewed from a hop blend (a pellet of a number of different hops) called Falconer’s Flight. The blend was developed by Hopunion to honor brewer Glen Flaconer.
Appearance: Although I’m sitting in pub level mood lighting, the beer shines an amber red with the slightest hazy when held up to the light. Your copper heart can’t hide from it Wings! The sudsy head holds firm and a few heavy tendrils of lacing weave down the glass.
Aroma: Citrus, bready malt and an earthy, off the vine hop. There is a mild, fresh hopped floral quality and undertones of pine. The aroma rests on a pleasing toffee backbone that doesn’t overpower with sweetness.
Taste/Mouth Feel: A nice, creamy carbonation rolls through the mouth with a lovely floral hop. This beer flows well, with a heaviness that doesn’t hit syrupy. My tongue initially fixates on the pulled from the earth hop and the biscuity malt with a note of brown sugar sweet. Bitterness coats the mouth and lips and pleasantly lingers for quite some time after. There are hints of grapefruit and orange juice (maybe tangerine), but the citrus qualities stay mellow throughout and don’t over assert themselves. For those that have had it, this reminds me a bit of Bear Republic’s Racer X, but with less orange juiciness. A last hit of mild tang makes for a really pleasant finish that lingers with the earthy hop bitterness.
Final Thoughts: This is a great IPA and one worth trying when encountered in the wild, but any comparisons to Heady Topper should really be kicked aside. Heady Topper’s massive pollen/hop aroma, crisp bite, and elements of infused hop/tea flavors isn’t what Wings is about. Wings isn’t rewriting the book on DIPAs, but damn if it’s not a delicious IPA that I will welcome into my mouth any time. It’s worth getting and a fantastic warmer weather/summer beer when you want something refreshing that has some body. I look forward to slamming this in the future whenever I see it, but I wouldn’t go out of my way or pay an absurd amount to get it.