Three Floyds Brewing Company
Zombie Dust Pale Ale
In an effort to make my way through the “must have” beers for hop heads, there are a few that have eluded me due mainly to breweries not distributing anywhere in my area. Indiana’s Three Floyds is one of those breweries. I have a bottle of Boogoop - the barleywine they did in collaboration with Mikkeller - in my cellar, but other than that hadn’t tried any of their other beers.
Fortunately, as has been the case lately, my beer geek friends come through and hook me up.
I’ve heard Zombie Dust, their single-hopped Citra pale ale, referred to as the best pale ale in the country. I’m partial to the bite of Oskar Blues’ Dale’s Pale Ale, but after trying a bottle of ZD, I may found a contender.
The beer has a great sunset orange color to it that’s yellowish around the edges. There’s a finger worth of a rocky head on top and a bit of lacing, as well as some carbonation coming up the sides.
The pungent citrus notes from the Citra are very prevalent on the nose. There’s orange and grapefruit and a hint of astringency. There’s also bread notes from the malts. It’s a very rich, but mellower hop smell that’s just excellent.
There’s a strong punch of hop bitterness right on the front of the tongue. Throughout the mouth, I got a really prevalent biscuity malt flavor, similar to New Belgium beers. However, that flushes out to great citrus notes - orange juice, pineapple and papaya. The bitterness kicks in on the back again, but the balance between the hoppiness and maltiness is really nice.
Zombie Dust is a superb pale ale, and I think people are totally justified in calling it the best of its style in the country. Having no access to it on a regular basis, I can’t call it the definitive winner in my opinion, but it’s a strong contender. And of course, I really hope this isn’t my last bottle.