This beer is problematic and may also be a starting point to illustrate how difficult brewing can be.
The Long Hammer smells skunked. It’s right there in the nose and even worse, the beer finished with that same flavor: skunky.
Typically, a skunked flavor means that the beer is light struck and this is a very, very odd condition to meet with a craft beer, because bottling and packaging are constructed to prevent this circumstance from happening. Yet I cannot deny: This is the case. Now, is this beer a victim of big box store care? Is this just bad luck? Is it problematic because of the brewery?
In any case, it has become difficult to focus on the middle of the Long Hammer, where the balance of this beer would rest. I don’t get the sense that that middle is bad or off center but the flaw in this beer overwrites everything else.
What I’m recalling is that I had similar issues with Deschutes’ Mirror Pond ale. There must be some good pale/ipas on the mass market, right?