Orange Giant is a limited-run barleywine released by Portland’s Ecliptic Brewery. The effort pours with an orange-red coloration and a small amount of off-white head. The nose has a good amount of piney hops and alcoholic snap to it, while an initial sip knocks one firmly over the head with oily hops (Ecliptic uses Chinook and Nugget varieties) and a warmth that works its way down one’s esophagus. Orange Giant provides one with additional flavors the further they get into the barleywine, with bits of cinnamon and cayenne, dark fruits (prune and fresh plum) and a bit of toasted malt completing the flavor profile. Ecliptic has imbued Orange Giant with a tremendous balance, meaning that the hotness of the initial sips of the beer are countered by the more delicate side of things.
The considerable bitterness of Orange Giant (80 IBU) provides a sharpness to the brew that wipes clean imbibers’ palettes. The 12.5% ABV ensures that one will struggle to get through a single 22 ounce bottle of Orange Giant, so bring along a friend to experience this limited release. Ecliptic has also released a bourbon barrel-aged variant of Orange Giant for distribution solely in Oregon; this version kicks the ABV up to 13.8%.
For more information about the entirety of beers that Ecliptic releases, visit their domain. The company maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep their fans up to date about new bottle releases, events, and anything to do about the company. Pick up a few bottles of Orange Giant, drink one fresh and keep a few set up in your cellar to see what flavors increase in prominence, which become more muted, and how the overall taste of the barleywine changes over the passage of time.