Crown Valley Brewery - Gunslinger Double IPA
- Alcohol by Volume: 8.3%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 93
- Serving Temperature: 47-52°F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip or Snifter
- Malts: Briess Pilsner, Pale Ale, Crystal, Carapils
- Hops: Galena, Zeus, Cascade, Centennial, Perle
As we would expect, this double IPA is the hoppiest beer that Crown Valley produces, made with five different hop varietals and weighing in at a very firm 93 IBUs. Offering an inviting golden amber color on the pour capped by a fluffy head of sticky foam, Gunslinger presents a beautifully soft and complex hop aroma overlaying notes of caramel. Dominated by fruity citric notes of grapefruit and orange, the hop aroma also provides hints of earth, mint, pine, and spice. On the palate, this beer is no wallflower, with a strong, rich, and moderately sweet backbone of pale and caramel malt to stand up to the profound and drying hop bitterness. Despite the IBUs, there’s a softness to how the bitterness comes across; it’s not overly sharp on the palate, although there is some alcohol heat that amplifies the attack. Hop flavors are big and robust, with the complexity that often comes with using a multitude of hop varietals. Look for big candied citrus notes (tending toward grapefruit) along with a pungently herbal and floral quality. Gunslinger finishes a touch salty and a bit boozy, with a lingering bitterness that clears away any residual malt sweetness and clings to the palate with a spicy character. Cheers!
The story of Crown Valley Brewery begins in 1984 when Joe Scott, Sr., who had spent many a happy summer on his grandfather’s farm in Coffman, MO, returned to the area and started his own ranch. In 1998 he planted his first grape vines (an uncommon white hybrid varietal known as Chardonel, popular in Missouri vineyards) and two years later Crown Valley Winery was born. Fast forward to the present day and the Crown Valley property has grown and branched out into a multi-faceted business and an entertaining destination, replete with vineyards supplying grapes for both red and white wines, our featured brewery/distillery and attached pub and grill (just a couple miles down the road from the winery), a banquet hall suitable for weddings and parties, and a meat company which, among other things, produces tasty jerky from their herd of bison which roams among the grape vines. Oh, and for good measure, there’s also the Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary, home to several rescued big cats.
While they had been brewing beer for a while beforehand, the Crown Valley Brewery opened to the public in May 2009. The brewery is headed up by brewmaster Carl Wiersma, a Wisconsin native whose resume includes several years as Director of Malting for Kurth Malting, as well as several years spent as the brewhouse manager for Anheuser-Busch’s Research Pilot Brewery where he was engaged in all aspects of brewing, from malting through to cellaring, and was in charge of designing experimental beers. But make no mistake, Wiersma’s Crown Valley brews are far removed from the beers that come to mind when we think of Anheuser-Busch. In fact, with over a dozen year-round and seasonal beers and ciders (as well as Fizzy Izzy Root Beer – named after one of the tigers at the sanctuary), Crown Valley is producing an impressively wide array of styles.
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