QTN™: Rapscallion Premier

This particular quick tasting note is a new one on me. Coming from the Concord Brewery in Lowell, MA, the Rapscallion Premier sounds like it should be a golden Belgian-style strong ale along the lines of Duvel or its imitators (Delerium Tremens, Lucifer, etc.). Instead the color is a gorgeous reddish-blonde, the nose is complex with fruit fragrances (apricot predominates), the up front impression is crisp and vibrant, the body is part-malt, part bitter (maybe a little too bitter) and the finish is lingering. If any note is discordant it’s the hops. I don’t know what they’re using but I would guess Cascade, or else they just have a very heavy hand with the hops, and the bitterness comes close to overwhelming the rest of it. But in the end it kind of balances out in the finish and the overall impression is very strong. I think I’ll have to make a visit.