Being a long time drinker of "the Dust," it is finally time I sat down and talked about this wonderful pale ale. Is it as good as the hype? Hmmm...maybe...
3 Floyds is on the minds of most beer snobs and with good reason. They have a very forward thinking approach both in their brewing and their marketing. They make a lot of good beer and they make a lot of not so great beer and that is one of the reasons I really like them. They have several "must have," staple brews and because of the loyalty generated by these few highly praised beers, they can experiment and try new things. Their operation has just quadrupled in Munster Indiana and their once small little tap room with modest bar and very busy to-go line is now in the literal shadow of a impressively large distillery and brewery built right next door. I will cover the details of the brewery in a different blog entry later so enough of that.
Zombie Dust is a nice bodied Pale Ale that kind of pushes in flavor toward the IPA genre. It has a good amount of citrus flavored hops that is the dominant element. But it is more than that. It has a very light nose that reminds me of a grassy champagne. The body of the beer is wonderful. It has a continuing effervescence and bubbled carbonation that is great to watch in the glass. It has a well laced off-white head that lasts the duration of the beer. The flavor of Zombie Dust is a culmination of pointy, intertwined, but distinguishable flavors. The malt profile is golden and light with a twang of wheatish grain. The beer has a lot of wine characteristics. It has distinct chardonnay flavors, a pointy crispness with twinges of tart lemon pith. It has a slight sweetness that reminds me of white grapes. Yet another reminder of wine.
This is where I will call myself a complete and sincere wanna-be beer snob. Zombie Dust is great. It is interesting and well balanced with a complex but drinkable flavor profile. But when I read that Zombie Dust was on the AHBA's top 10 beer list, I scratched my head a little bit. I currently have 4 or 5 beers in my beer fridge that I would take before Zombie Dust. But keep in mind I have a really good beer fridge...:) It is not the best beer I have had recently or even this week. It is not even the best Pale Ale I have had recently. And more peculiar is that Zombie Dust is not even close to the best beer 3 Floyds brews. That title would belong to either Live The Rich Life, Space Station Middle Finger, or maybe Sabertooth Berzerker. And that says a hell of a lot about 3 Floyds when a beer as coveted as Zombie Dust is not even in their top 3.
But, all that being said, Zombie Dust is certainly worthy of the attention it receives. It is really really good and sometimes I have to tell myself that just because I may like another beer more, it does not in any way take away from the brewing accomplishment that is Zombie Dust. If you told me it was your favorite beer I would understand. And if you said you like another Pale Ale better, I would also understand. But one thing you will not convince me of is that it is not an excellent beer. It is excellent.
I have been to 3 Floyds brewery several times and the amount of Zombie Dust they sell carry-out is insane. They will sell thousands of cases a week. Does the really cool skeleton on the bottle help with sales? Probably. But the truth is that you could wrap this beer in a brown paper bag and most people would still find it intriguing and tasty. Zombie Dust is a great beer and with the popularity of 3 Floyds continuing to grow, don't be surprised is the AHBA puts another 3 Floyds beer on their top 10 list next year to keep Zombie Dust company.
Full Brewery Name: 3 Floyds Brewing Company
Brewery Location: Munster, Indiana
Alcohol by Volume(ABV): 6.2
Drinkability: Moderate - Sessionable