Three Floyds Brewing is a microbrewery that was founded in 1996 by Mike Floyd and his two sons, Nick and Simon — hence three Floyds. Though the brewery was originally located in Hammond, Indiana, it moved to Munster, Indiana in 2000. The brewery also opened a brewpub (like a French brasserie) next door. Three Floyds beer consistently receives high ranking by experts. And if their outrageously bright, loud, and very large website is any indication of their philosophy, they enjoy brewing over-the-top beers, full of flavor. The brewery employs professional comics artists to design their labels.
The beer under consideration here is their Zombie Dust (6.4% ABV), a pale ale that the company describes as an intensely hopped and gushing pale ale. A pale ale generally is an ale brewed with pale malted grains, producing a pale color. They can also tend to be bitter. In fact, the descriptor bitter used to be synonymous with pale ale.
Bottle: Wow. This brown glass bottled is labeled with an intense, colorful drawing of an undead zombie king with a wooden club in his skeletal hand. Or is it a torn cape? It’s hard to tell. The lettering is in a thick, slightly-amorphous font in a lovely puke/undead green. There’s no missing this one on the shelf!
Pour: This pale ale pours a tad less pale than pale implies. It is a lovely orange with amber tones, more medium than light in hue, with some light haze. A three-finger, white, foamy head dissipates moderately slowly with medium, stringy lacing.
Aroma: This is one hoppy ale. The intense aroma of hops punches you in the nose with a strong bouquet of grapefruit and other citrus fruits, thick green wheat grass, and concentrated sappy pine needles. There is also a strong current of malt and yeasty bread.
Flavor: The flavor follows the aroma well. There is a fruity quality present, with hints of mango, pineapple, orange, lemon, and grapefruit. The malt manifests itself as a faint sweetness (but in no way cloying), especially on the finish and the aftertaste. The hops are bright and pleasantly bitter, with elements of pine, grass, and citrus. In fact, the strength of the hops flavors in this ale make it present like an IPA, although technically (and according to the brewery) it is a pale ale. Remember, though, that there is often crossover between beer styles.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is medium-bodied, but even this is pretty heavy for a pale ale. There is a faint trace of resin somewhere in the body, and the carbonation is moderate and refreshing, almost crisp. A hoppy bitterness coats the tongue.
Structure: The structure is balanced and firm. I would imagine that this ale could stand up to some aging, in fact.
Food Pairing: I would not always pair a pale ale with spicy foods, but because of the intense hoppiness of this one, I would not hesitate to serve it with spicy, Southeast Asian food, or spicy boiled crawfish. It would even go very well with a spicy Indian curry.
Overall Rating Out of 5 Possible Beer Mugs: