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TedE

DC Brau Space Reaper (Formerly Solar Abyss)

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TedE   

Picked up a six pack of this recently after having missed growler hours where they were pouring it a couple weeks ago.  The obvious comparison is to On the Wings of Armageddon which I have always thought of as a good-to-very-good Imperial IPA; I thought Solar Abyss blew it out of the water.  It pours a deep hazy orange, unfiltered.  The biggest differentiation is the almost exclusive use of Mosaic hops in SA; the result is the expected piney, floral, sour citrus bite up front, but it finishes with some intriguing, deep fruitiness and something herbal I can't place for the life of me. Maybe licorice?  Rosemary?  I've had 3 cans at three different sittings and haven't been able to place it.  That after taste really lingers, and everything just comes together on the next sip.  I've got the remainder of the 6-pack to figure out what I'm tasting!

I will say there is a big negative to this beer, and that is the price.  OTWOA usually clocks in at $13-15 per six pack.  I picked Solar Abyss up at Whole Foods from an unlabeled stack on the floor (dumb, I know).  Rang up at $18.99 :wacko:.  Nevertheless, if you like IIPAs seek this one out before it's gone as I don't think they know when it will be back (there is some trademark issue they've run into with the can design).  The DCBrau twitter account has had some updates on places around town that still have kegs.

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Josh   

I had it on tap at Red Apron in Union Market the other day.  I haven't had OTWOA recently so it's hard for me to compare the 2.  I agree that SA is a delicious beer, but I have to say I've all but given up drinking anything over 6% during the summer.

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TedE   

It seems Solar Abyss was re-incarnated as Space Reaper last year.  Still a very good IIPA, but the hops bill has changed a bit (not focused so much on Mosaic to my palate).  Release was a couple of weeks ago, and they still have six packs ($17.99) and growler fills ($15) at the brewery.  Six packs at retail around town are as pricy or pricier than before (I saw one at $21.99).  One surprise: at the Nats game on Monday the District Drafts stand outside of 309 had it on tap!   Occasionally one of the rarer or higher test local beers will show up there.  It was probably only one keg as the tap was done by the 5th inning.

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