Clipper City Brewing Company of Baltimore produces their "Heavy Seas" line of bottle-conditioned brews which are now available in western North Carolina. I first enjoyed these beers at the Classic City brewfest in Athens, Georgia. When I saw them on the shelves at Bruisin' Ales I had to buy a six-pack of Loose Cannon.
Billed as a double IPA, the beer is more accurately described as an American West Coast IPA, athough the octane is a healthy 7.5 ABV. Brewed with Magnum, Centennial, Chinook, Amarillo and Palisade hops, the beer is a hophead's delight. The nose is full of grapefruit with hints of bread yeast which suggests that the beer is well-balanced. Initial bitterness lingers on the tongue though undertones of malt are always present. The bitterness lingers for some time. There's also a good alcohol bite.
The mouthfeel is medium-light, and the beer poured with a medium head that lingered, leaving a nice Scottish lace in my Barley's imperial pint glass. The beer would also be appropriately served in a tulip glass and shared. Since it's bottle conditioned, it would be appropriate to pour the beer carefully, leaving sediment in the bottle. However, I forgot to do that with one bottle and found that the yeast complimented the hops and alcohol well. I think next time I'll leave the yeast in again!
Overall, an excellent beer. Recommended.