All You Need to Know
Quick Take: Nimble Giant, it’s not you, it’s me. I like you just fine, but it’ll never be love. You got everything that brings the beer nerds to the yard, but to me, you’re a grapefruity, pineapple and sweet-tinged session beer that drinks far too big for its britches. An unusually heavy mouth feel that features every bit of the ABV means that you’ll never be more than my once a year DIPA booty call.
Brew Facts: It took six versions of this experimental scratch beer to finally land on the Nimble Giant recipe, which consists of Mosaic, Azacca and Simcoe hops. In case you were wondering, this is also Vegan friendly (like almost all other beers), so even though it kind of tastes like it, Nimble Giant is without the honey.
Appearance: While not part of the usual review, I feel the need to shout-out Tröegs graphics and marketing team. A sexy, satin black finish along with the simple, hand drawn direction of Tröegs new can art makes for an attractive, “drink me now!” style can. Well done.
As for what’s in the can, it pours a Lady of Rage level afro puff of white fluff. Sudsy like it has dish detergent in it. Golden straw in color and crystal freakin’ clear, it looks like an easy drinking IPA that catches the light brilliantly. A modern DIPA that isn’t hazy? What a crazy idea.
Aroma: I huff it up the old nostrils and get a dank, syrupy sweet pineapple, and a profile that features the yeast esters to come. A tantalizing aroma that doesn’t over do it with massive dry-hopping. Simple and tropically inviting, the restraint is welcome.
Taste/Mouth Feel: A medium, verging on syrupy body and low carbonation makes for an odd first impression. Not crisp by any means, Nimble Giant slips around the mouth like a bubble of quicksilver. The middle is sweet, pineapple bread with honey, papaya and a clean touch of yeast esters. Bitter grapefruit mixed with dried candied cantaloupe and surprising heat finishes off a beer that goes against my sessiony expectations. Each of my 16 oz worth of sips brings out a syrupy/resin mixture that bullies the drier and frankly restrained hop profile.
Final Thoughts: The slick body of this beer, while not overtly oily, strikes me as an odd choice. It coats the tongue, riding on an ABV that’s too big for the simple flavors and prevents this from being the summer drinker it wants to be. On the positive side, the assertive bitterness counteracts a growing malt sweetness that teeters on the edge of cloying by the time it leaves your mouth.
Overall, Nimble Giant is a fine beer, but it’s flavored like a tropical session that nearly buckles under the alcohol. Personally, I’d prefer 2-3% subtracted from the ABV and spike on the carbonation, but maybe my palate bias is getting in the way. Regardless, chances are this is a DIPA that any IPA drinker is going to love. For me, I LIKE it, but it’s not the love affair I was hoping for.
Trade Worthiness: Worth getting as an extra, but don’t trade anything hard to get for it.