I first had the Yards Brewing Company Cape of Good Hope in cask form during a 2012 dinner with Mrs. G-LO at Amis, a Marc Vetri restaurant in Center City Philadelphia. About two months ago, I almost had it again in cask form at Alla Spina, yet another Philadelphia restaurant owned by Marc Vetri. Unfortunately, the cask was already kicked on the night I dined there, so when I saw a bottle of this beer on the shelf at Wineworks in Marlton, NJ during a recent beer run, I knew that I just had to pick it up to see if it’s as good as I remember.
Legend has it that a pioneering brewer made stronger, hoppier ales to survive the epic sea voyages around the Cape of Good Hope from England to India. True or not, Cape of Good Hope is our annual tribute to adventurous brewers like him, and our gift to adventurous souls like you.
Cape of Good Hope Expedition 2012 is our interpretation of a generously hopped Double IPA. The heaps upon heaps of Cascade, Crystal, Calypso, Columbus and Bravo hops deliver aromas of pineapple and tangerine, while the Crystal and Aromatic malts add body, sweetness, and a balance of biscuit and caramel flavors. Drink adventurously, but responsibly. And beware of tigers…
And now for my review…
- Appearance: Slightly cloudy, pale orange color. Fast rising off white head that settles to about an 1/8 of an inch. Thick, sticky lacing.
- Aroma: Uber hoppy with both citrus (think tangerines and grapefruit) and evergreen notes. Also getting some tea biscuity sweetness and a smattering of funk.
- Taste: Lightly carbonated with a slight fizziness. Starts off with a firm hoppy bite with lots of pine resin and grapefruit zest coming through. A bit of honey sweetness at mid-palate. At the finish, the hops intensify a bit and concentrate on the middle of my tongue. Moderately dry and astringent with a soothing bitter aftertaste.
- ABV: 8.3%
I am happy to report that the Yards Cape of Good Hope lost very little in its translation from cask to bottle form (the cask version was a wee bit smoother and creamier). While I can’t say that I have explored much of Yards line up, I can say that this is easily the best Yards beer that I’ve ever had. This is a solid Double IPA that I recommend without reservation.