Dulles Airport Take-Off Tasting Tour: Sterling, Ashburn and more: Ocelot The Gallows Imperial Red, Dulles, Virginia
Date: April 22, 2019
The Story— Ocelot is a brewery that knows what it’s trying to do and pretty much does it. They aren’t going to be the next success story scooped up by InBev or Heineken, they aren’t going to be on every multi-tap in the DC area and they aren’t going to have cans in your nearby beer emporium. They sell most of what they brew on site, they brew an enormous range of beers and they celebrate music — and occasionally vaping. I hope they enjoy what they’re doing as much as they seem too.
Moderate strength beers, such as there are, are quite good, but Adrian soars with the big stuff. We could have as easily highlighted a couple of Imperial IPAs or their yummy Black IPA. I don’t usually like red, and though she tolerates them more than I do, Ellie’s not real fond of them either. Crystal malt, unless handled with exceptional skill, turns to leather and burnt sugar. Here, no problem.
This was one of our highest rated beers in 2018. Unfortunately, like the points on Who’s Line Is It, it doesn’t really matter how we rate it because it just won’t be there when you take the trip into the backwaters of the Dulles airport that you should. They turn over styles and names as quickly as any large brewpub we know and seem to be limited in beer names only by the number of songs that have been recorded in the past 100 years of so. But even if Adrian doesn’t have this beer waiting for you, he’ll have something just as good.
The Beer— Big booze smooths as even fruits, toasted malts, and herbal hops create breadth. Hot alcohol shows as it drinks. Hits of chocolate and flowers late. make it even more interesting.
Value — Very good to good. Great beer at a good beer price.
About these posts: We taste and evaluate over a thousand beers every year. The beers posted here rank in the top quarter of those tastings. Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.
For the next several weeks we’ll feature fun places to explore beer — and much more–a different destination each week. Our beers of the day will feature beers from this wonderfully wet destinations. Today we’re concluding a week of beers in the Dulles-Sterling are of Northern Virginia. A caveat as always: the vast majorities of craft breweries may have a few beers that are usually available, but their most interesting beers are usual season or one-off brews that we may rave about, but you can’t find. Our specific beer descriptions can tell you what sorts of beers the brewery does well; if you don’t find the exact beer on tap, you’ll probably find something similar.