Mike Lackey Chats Great Lakes Brewery New Release

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Life Sentence IIIPA 2016 (Southern Hemisphere), Great Lakes annual collaboration tripel IPA brewed with Amsterdam Brewery, launches tomorrow in the Great Lakes Brewery retail store and in order to obtain the information you are all looking for, Troy sat down with Lackey to chat about the beer, the hops, and write some tasting notes. Here are those answers…

Troy: So, tell me about the hops used in the 2016 version of Life Sentence.
Lackey: Troy, I’m glad you asked. Also, I’m glad to be here drinking this with you. Iain McOustra (Amsterdam Brew Master) and I thought it would be great to change the hop bill in Life Sentence each year. We wanted to take advantage of the southern hemisphere harvest, which happens in June (as opposed to September in the northern hemisphere). After rubbing some samples, together, Pacifica hops stood out amongst the rest. And, we both thought that if the 2016 batch turned out amazing, owners of our respective breweries would insist we head down to the New Zealand harvest next year. For business. Definitely business.

Troy: Why did Pacifica stand-out?
Lackey: The aroma of pineapple jumped at us. It was also the cleanest hop of the bunch.

Troy: That’s very insightful information, Mr. Lackey. Please describe what “cleanest” means to drinkers.
Lackey: We thought they (hops) were picked at the absolute right time with an aroma that popped, but lacking any traces of onion or garlic aromas, which is indicative of late harvest picking. It is really beneficial, as a brewer, when selecting hops, to take the time to bounce ideas off other people you trust.

Troy: How much Pacifica (whole leaf) did you guys use in the brew?
Lackey: We were surprised by the size of a New Zealand bale versus the North American ones. It was huge. We used approximately 150kg of Pacific, all in the whirlpool. Then we dry hopped it with massive amounts of pacifica and nelson sauvin.

Troy: Freshness is something we truly value here at GLB. How long would you suggest people “age” this beer?
Lackey: By god man, tell people to drink it fresh… but, saying that, the high alcohol and hop content should make this an interesting drinker over the next two to three months.

Troy: How many cans produced for GLB retail?
Lackey: About 7000, give or take what our staff “sample”.

Troy: When will the LCBO see any cans?
Lackey: Nope! It’s only available here at the retail store and at select bars in Ontario.

Troy: What is the price point for cans?
Lackey: 473ml cans at GLB retail – $5 each, $120 per case.

Thanks to Lackey for spending some time in the upstairs office. Now go clean your beard.

Tasting Notes:
Maddie tried a sip. She finished that sip. Maddie exclaimed, “WOW!” This pretty much sums up the tasting notes, but we’ll try to be more poetic below.

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Bordering on a rusty sunset in colour, Life Sentence IIIPA 2016 (Southern Hemisphere) looks pretty darn cute in our 16oz Revival IPA glass. (Got the marketing mention out of the way) Aroma’s of pineapple, mango and some sweetness (cotton candy) segway into flavours of passionfruit, bazooka joe bubblegum and yellow plum on the palate… like emptying a whole Pez dispenser into your mouth at once. Starts off juicy and sweet, finishes dry, very dry. If you don’t pick up any alcohol notes, you’re drinking this wrong.

ABV: 10%
IBUs: 100
Style: Tripel IPA
ServingTemp: 3-5
Glassware: Revival or Tulip