Modern Times Centaur Gardens
Product description: We crammed this incredible beverage with Amarillo, Simcoe, Citra, J17, and Mosaic hops and fermented with London III yeast, yielding a majestic juice-beast bursting with tropical, citrus, and stone fruit magic. It’s a breathtaking feat of hop-sorcery that puts your lucky little taste buds on the express train to Downtown Partyville.
Modern Times Beer – Modern Times Centaur Gardens – 16 oz. can poured into an Imperial pint glass. 7% abv. Note: This was reviewed last month.
Centaur Gardens is one of the latest from MT’s brewery-only release, canned, hazy IPA series. I have already mentioned numerous times that this system really seems to ensure consumers have the best experience with these fragile, low shelf life beers.
Like the others in this series such as Goblin Rock and Underworld Dreams, Centaur Gardens debuted in tap-only format many months before going into a larger, canned production. In this case, I first tried this beer in December of last year. My first impression was that Centaur Gardens was another home run from Modern Times. It wasn’t too different from their other hazy IPAs, but flavor and palate-wise this was excellent with mango milkshake and juicy citrus dominating.
I did not snag cans this time over Brown Paper Tickets, but luckily, they were selling them this past weekend out of the fridge at the North Park tasting room location. $20 per 4-pack of 16oz cans is still steep, but these have been worth the money in the past. At the very least, these cans are so beautiful you could probably keep them as wall decorations.
Sampling this now at home, this is a good shade darker than some of its peers looking hazy, milky, deep orange. There is ample beige foam that rises out of the glass. The aroma begins with touches of nail polisher remover, but it settles down to green, under-ripe fruits like leafy white strawberry and green banana moving to hefty tangerine along the lines of Five Alive fruit juice (remember that stuff?) and even orange Tang.
The flavor keeps the theme of these hazy IPAs with little to no kettle hop bitterness and all late addition fruity hop oils dominating. This could realistically be sitting at 10 IBUs – outrageously low for a traditional IPA. But that’s nothing new for hazy IPA. What is different is that Centaur Gardens is quite lactic and tart for this series – reminiscent of their Golden Pineapple IPA. There’s a milky thickness to the body and sparkling lactic acid in the back of the palate like tangerine Kefir. The mid-palate here brings primary flavors of spicy dark orange peel and tangerine juice. In the finish, Centaur Gardens ends a bit rough with green banana, under-ripe mango skin, and heavy chalkiness. Alcohol content isn’t apparent flavor-wise. Sugar level here is low but present enough to bring out the tangerine flavors throughout.
Overall, this one is very tasty but seems not as well-structured as others like Goblin Rock even though they share similar DNA I’m told. I think it could use some fine-tuning [goes back to chug second can].