Finch’s Hardcore Chimera Beer Review

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Finch’s Hardcore Chimera: Appearance

Bright glowing orange hue over an extremely hazy body. Pours to a large, white, frothy head which retains and laces fairly well.

Finch’s Hardcore Chimera: Smell

Strong hop aroma of all major characters, especially citrus. Some alcohol is noticeable, as is the malt.

Finch’s Hardcore Chimera: Taste

If you’re going to make an imperial IPA, you’d better go all-out, and Finch’s Hardcore Chimera is a good example of what I mean. Brewed with five different hops and heavily dry hopped, this is a really well-rounded brew. It’s not simply just arbitrary hops over arbitrary malts, there’s a distinct balancing of both malt and hops here. It’s sweet, citrusy and bitter – that’s what makes for a great IPA.

It’d be easy to describe this palette as a West Coast-style IPA, but that doesn’t seem entirely accurate. There’s notes of candy, stone fruit, pine needles and flowers here thanks to the varied hop selection (the Mid-Western breweries tend to be the best at blending so many different hops). Peach, passion fruit and grapefruit all are noticeable right away. There’s also a strong pale malt base which creates for a full body and a sweetness to offset the hops. Though I wouldn’t describe this beer as being extremely bitter per se. Alcohol imparts some rum-like spice and leaves a slightly vanilla-ish aftertaste. This is a complex palette for sure and all the flavors are mighty enjoyable; but not quite to the point of being mind-blowing.

Finch’s Hardcore Chimera: Drinkability

IPAs of this caliber tend to be difficult to drink as they might be sticky and cloying, but Finch’s Hardcore Chimera is much more drinker-friendly. Sure it’s a full-bodied palette, but it’s comfortable in the mouth with a soft presence and smooth texture. The 9% ABV does make itself known in the form of a gentle warmth in both taste and sensation, but it’s nothing too intense. Great to pair with a big meal, or enjoy a single serving on its own merit.

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Carla Lauter was the founder of The Beer Babe and has been a beer blogger and expert for several decades. She's been interviewed in beer publications and podcasts about her favorite brews and the craft brewing scene. While she's ceased her involvement with The Beer Babe, her legacy remains in the various reviews and articles she has written.