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Beer Reviews

Zombie Dust

Three Floyds Brewing Co.
Munster, IN

Style: American Pale Ale

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

Although the packaging on Three Floyds’ Citra-hopped pale ale prominently features an Alpha King crown-wearing, war hammer-wielding zombie, the name of this brew actually comes from druggie slang referring to a mixture of Triazolam and cocaine. In essence, a dichotomy of an extreme depressant coupled with an extreme stimulant. Maybe the crazies at Three Floyds thought this was an apt metaphor for the beer’s bitterness contrasting with its malty backbone and fruity nose. Or maybe they just thought the name sounded fucking cool.

Chances are you haven’t had this one. Although Three Floyds bottles it, currently they only sell it at the pub in Munster, and it’s usually gone roughly four seconds after they cap the last bottle. You can, if you look hard enough, find it on tap in Chicagoland and a few lucky bars beyond that, though. I happened across it during my last visit to the Windy City, and stumbled upon it once more since.

Looks-wise, it’s no different than your typical American pale ale: a brilliant light gold underneath a firm, snow white head. The nose, though, is pure Citra: an explosion of citrusy fruits burying every other smell your sniffer could possibly sniff. Even as the beer warms the hops dominate the nose, despite a medium body.

The sip starts off fairly balanced, with some biscuity malt pleasantly interleaving the fruity overtones of the Citra, but the finish comes damn quick, and is bracingly bitter. The citrus smells and tastes linger, tickling your taste buds for more.

Citra is a surprisingly high alpha hop (around 14 percent) considering its intoxicatingly enticing aroma, and Three Floyds uses that bitterness aggressively, making this more IPA-like than pale ale. But it works. The maltiness up front keeps things from getting too hop-heavy and, let’s face it, I’m still pretty much fucking addicted to Citra hops. Right now I’m having trouble imagining a bad beer made with Citra, but I do know that Zombie Dust ain’t it. Damn fine stuff.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on July 9, 2012.
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