Linda the Axe Grinder is a huge, hoppy imperial red ale brewed at Amager Bryghus in collaboration with Linda Haug. A couple of years ago Todd The Axe Man, brewed in collaboration with Todd Haug of Surly Brewing was a huge hit. Linda doesn’t work at Surly (anymore), but still deserved a beer in her own name, and here it is.
Linda the Axe Grinder is a 9% beer, but it feels bigger than that. It’s sweet and boozy, but it has that dessert wine feel that makes it acceptable anyway. It’s a copper red beer with a thick and creamy, long lasting off-white head.
The aroma is dominated by fruit. There is orange peel and ripe peach, candied pineapple and mango, and dried dates. You also sense some malty notes of bread crust and biscuit, and some vineous alcohol.
The flavour is sweet with lots of fruit, and some warming, dessert wine-like alcohol. The finish is hoppy and bitter. To me, this kind of beer is for a special occassion. Todd the Axe Man is a great beer for your daily hop fix, but Linda the Axe Grinder is when you need that big flavour. You don’t chug a couple of bottles while watching the game, you want your attention to be on the beer.