Last week I attended the launch of Tongue Cutter IPA, a west coast style IPA brewed for Knifewear Ottawa by The Clocktower Brew Pub. Knifewear Ottawa is a specialty Japanese knife store that sells more than 30 brands imported directly from Japanese knife making companies and individual blacksmiths. Walking into a store like this when you have a set of substandard IKEA knives will make you rethink everything you've ever cut - it could have been so much better (or so much worse)!
So they have awesome knives, why brew a beer? Well, I don't know. I suppose because it's a great way to get people talking about Knifewear. During the development of the original Tongue Cutter IPA (brewed at Brewsters Brewing Company in Alberta by Rob Walsh) their goal was to make the beer so bitingly bitter that it had a metallic taste to it reminiscent of the steel knives they sell.
For the Ottawa version, The Clocktower's Patrick Fiori was put in charge of reimagine the flavours of metallic steel using hops, yeast, malt and water. The west coast style-style IPA doesn't remind me of licking a steel knife, but maybe that's because I haven't licked a steel knife before. It does however, taste delicious.
Pouring brick red with a thick off white head, Tongue Cutter has dominating aromas of pine, fresh cut grass and tropical citrus with a subtle note (singular, I said subtle) of sweet biscuit malt. The flavour starts off mild, with that note of malt and then the hop bitterness piles on. Pine. Grass. Citrus. It lingers on the palate until you take another swig and then it starts all over again! Yummy, too bad it's just a one off brew.
If you want to get your hands on Tongue Cutter IPA it's only available in bombers (650ml bottles) at The Clocktower's Glebe location ($20 / 4-pack) and only while supplies last.
Do I dare hope for an Imperial Tongue Cutter IPA?