Even if you are afraid of the dark, there is no reason to be scared of Absolute Horizon from Bomber Brewing. This beer falls into a somewhat contentious category, in regards to whether or not it is its own style, in that of a Cascadian Dark Ale. Regardless of what you think of the style, this is still an interesting beer.
B.C. Beer Reviews with Nic Hendrickson: Bomber Brewing – Absolute Horizon
This style touts itself as being strong in both the malt/grain bill presence and hop presence. It has the roasted notes and the fuller body of a darker beer, but the hop presence of a Pale Ale or an IPA.
Let’s crack open this contentious beer.
This beer pours a jet black from the bottle, just as you would expect from the style. Much the same in the glass, making the name Absolute Horizon a suitable descriptor for what you are looking at, which is very deep black. The head also has a very light tan hue to it.
The strongest aroma and the one at the forefront is the character the malt/grain bill imparts on this beer. There is a strong sweet note that is somewhat reminiscent of English styles. Similar to that of an English-style Bitter. Caramelized sugar is the best way to describe the aroma.
While they certainly play second fiddle to the malts/grains, the hops are certainly present in the nose/aroma. There is a very present earthiness to this beer. It does not quite come off as a fresh hop but could be categorized as somewhat vegetal in the aroma.
There is also a slight coffee note to the nose/aroma that is very nice. Overall, it is a very balanced nose/aroma that hits the style nicely. Strong sweet notes, coffee, and hoppy notes in this beer help to keep this one from leaning too far in either direction.
The malt/grain bill is just as strong in the tasting notes as it was in the nose/aroma. However, the coffee notes come through much stronger in the tasting notes than it did on the back end of the nose/aroma. Very pleasant malt/grain presence here.
The bitterness is ever-present. It hits you right off the bat, and it lasts all the way through the back end of your palate. It comes through much more than you would expect from the nose/aroma of this beer.
Combining the hoppy notes and the slight coffee bite of the malt/grain bill makes for a rather bitter beer overall. It balances out the sweetness that is present throughout, but the beer is still very much leaning towards the bitter aspects you taste.
The branding/labeling is solid for this one. There is a big black hole in the middle of the label that everything is swirling into. In the corners are pictures of science fiction like Tie Fighters from Star Wars and the phone booth from Doctor Who. Would not call it eye-catching, but it is still quite nice overall.
The head this beer pours is the definition of significant. Even with a meticulous pour, the beer had a rather massive head to it, and the retention was equally as impressive. You have to drink the head to get it to dissipate at all.
There is also a very significant amount of lacing on the glass from this beer. The rim has a thick layer of lacing where the head used to be, and below that is this patches of lacing as well. There are rings that indicate where you ended each drink. The glass is literally coated from this beer.
There is also a decent level of carbonation in this beer. Not enough to be considered bright, but rather slightly crisp. This helps the malt/grain bill from being too powerful in this one.
As mentioned multiple times in this review, this is a relatively well balanced beer. While it goes for that, it definitely does start to lean more towards the hops in the back end of the tasting notes. Overall, this is a tasty beer that is suitable for a hophead and a malt-forward beer lover alike.
Want to see a beer featured in B.C. Beer Reviews? Comment below with your suggestion.
You can also see all of the photos featured in B.C. Beer Reviews, and even some that do not make it into these articles, by following me on Instagram: nhendy5. And if you want to see much more concise versions of these reviews up to 24 hours in advance, add me on Untappd: RedArmyNic.
Main photo by Nic Hendrickson, Lastword Inc., all rights reserved