Lately the average temperature in Kansas seems to be around 100 degrees. It feels more and more like a desert every day. Luckily Tallgrass Brewing Co. was so kind as to provide a bit of shade with Oasis. It’s not my favorite summer beer as I do find the hops to be a bit much for this weather but somehow it does manage to quench your thirst. This is a beer that (luckily) I’ve seen multiple versions of as it was being created. Me too. I know, being married to him has it’s perks. Last summer (2009) you might have heard rumors of Oasis making an appearance (or lucky enough to have visited the brewery or visited Oasis in Wichita) sometime that summer. You also might have heard that it won an award as well. That version of Oasis was completely different from the version we all drink today. The original version was an ESB (now the Extra ESB review makes sense). The beer was shelved and worked on for the winter before it would make it’s debut in 2010. As they tinkered with it I was able to taste it and one version was similar to the final version but not as much malt. That caused the hops to just move in and stay the night on your tongue. I have never been so thirsty while drinking something in my whole life. It tasted good, but dried my mouth out. The final version still has some of that linger but not nearly what it was (trust me I drank 3 different beers trying to eliminate the hop flavor) in the second version. Tallgrass likes to call this beer a Malty Hop Bomb but I prefer a more upfront label of a Hoppy Kick to the Face. They also call it a Double ESB/IPA-ish beer and I see it as more of an Imperial ESB or perhaps Triple ESB.
The aroma is sweet and florally. The head is a tan color while the body is a dark brown (darkish copper). The body is also hazy due to it being unfiltered. The initial taste is semi-sweet with a lot of hops. The hops really attack your tongue and just linger there (if you aren’t a hop head you might want to stand clear of this one: 93 IBU, 7.2% ABV). The hops seem to sit on your tongue so much that the rest of the beer goes down smoothly and almost crisp. I guess the name Oasis was perfect as it feels like a desert in your mouth at first but finishes like a refreshing swim.
It’s like having a bouquet of flowers in my mouth if that could happen and be a positive experience. It’s really hoppy, but I don’t drink the whole thing thinking “holy crap this is hoppy.” I drink it thinking “damn, this is good.”
As I said it’s not my favorite summer beer (until evening when it cools down slightly) but it is a well rounded beer. Agreed. I think it’s more of a late summer/early fall seasonal. Give one a try if you’re brave enough. If you want to try some less hoppier versions, I’m sorry to admit that there really are not that many.
See Extra ESB post for similar style. But if you want an Imperial/Triple/Double ESB the only one I can think of is Rogue’s Imperial YSB. It’s not as hoppy but still good.