Allow me to start off in a profane manner by stating that I am offended by this bottle. What the fuck is up with this name? “Dank Tank” is the series and “Some Strange” is this beer’s name; not that I give a flying fuck about marketing when it comes to what I drink, but this beer is poorly marketed. The name alone is likely to turn people off it and the bottle looks nonsensically stupid. It has, on an obnoxious “ghillie” print backdrop, a drawing of an angry, ugly, hairy, voodoo doll in a bikini with a that looks like it was sketched by a third grader who mistook a sheet of LSD stamps for his fruit roll-up. Or maybe that’s supposed to be a grisly, gaunt menopausal lady who lies out too much in the Florida sun so her skin looks like my leather sofa. Either way, someone at the Sweetwater Brewery creative advertising department (if they have one) is an asshole, because this fantastic beer is undeserving of such an off-putting label.
Sweetwater Brewery, based in Atlanta, has in the past 5 years really put the pedal to the metal with the craft beer movement. They began in 1997 and I first discovered them when I moved to Atlanta in 2000. I was not impressed by them and for years avoided their beer for the most part. I believed it sold because of the local appeal. “Really? It’s brewed here in Atlanta? That’s nice. Pass the Boddington’s.” But as they started releasing a variety of styles and got with the program I got drawn in. And I applaud their development. Now that I live in Chicago I must admit I am sad they aren’t distributed here (yet).
This beer is a perfect example of how serious Sweetwater is about their craft. I’m a big fan of black IPA’s and it’s a style that I rarely see anywhere. Uinta kicks ass with their Dubhe black IPA and I have to say… this one may be even better. It’s not quite as bitter as the Dubhe; this one leans more toward the porter style with a roasted malty rich flavor and some caramel notes. But it still layers on the hops with fruity, tangy, citrus bitterness that is unmistakably an IPA… albeit barely. That is why for the “style” it gets a strike against it but as a beer it’s incredible. It pours smoothly with the color of coffee and a decent head the color of vanilla. The odor contains mint, pine and fresh tobacco. It is interesting and splendid. The texture of this brew is medium bodied, with a slight stickiness but very drinkable and not very boozy for a beer this strong.
If you’re expecting a straightforward pale ale, or a very bitter IPA with stinging hop flavors, then you’ll be disappointed. If you’re just in the mood for an awesome and complex beer you will really enjoy this beer. This is a limited release beer so if you see it, buy it. I don’t care if you have to mug the homeless man on the corner outside of the liquor store. Shame on him for lying under a pile of newspapers when he could have been spending his hard-earned cash on this beer. Survival of the fittest, says I.