Tag Archives: Imperial IPA

Brew Review: Burton Baton

24 Sep

Brew: Burton Baton

Brewed by: Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales (Milton, DE)

Style: Imperial IPA (10.0% ABV)

 

Dogfish Head, again.  This is one of their year round releases although it didn’t start that way.  it has been enjoyed by so many that they moved it to year round status so we could all get a chance to experience this one.  With the experiences of the 60, 90 and 120 minute IPA’s under my belt I figured I was up for the 10.0% that was the Burton Baton IPA.  I believe that this brew combines an old ale and an imperial IPA and then ages them on oak for a mellow yet robust IPA.  A very intriguing beer to say the least.

Burton Baton poured out a light amber color with oranges and reds dancing around which made for a deliciously good looking beer.  A nice frothy off-white head rose up from this pleasant brew and stuck around on the glass for the entire session.  A really good looking beer.

The aroma jumped out at me with hops and oak right away.  The hops were the most dominant as this has plenty with the IPA and old ale both contributing plenty. Strong and syrupy smelling I could tell that there was a lot lurking within this beer. The oak did mellow things out a bit and gave a further depth to the beer but the hops were dominant.  A slight backbone of malt did shine through at times but balanced is not a word I would use to describe.

The taste was bitter to begin with.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t too intense on the bitterness.  I was expecting there to be not much balance but the sweet malts definitely held up in the face of all those bitter oils from the hops.  The age in the oak definitely mellowed this brew out to a more manageable beer that was remarkably smooth. 

With an old ale and imperial IPA threaded together I was figuring that this brew was going to be a not-so-easy-drinker, but I was definitely proven wrong.  For the style and the ABV this was astonishingly smooth and the alcohol was barely noticeable.  Dogfish really got this brew right in my book. I would take this any day over the 120 or 90 minute IPA since those are just assaults on the senses and balance isn’t really a factor in those.  This is the opposite and in a very good way.

 

Final Grade B+

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Brew Review: Arctic Panzer Wolf

16 May

Brew: Arctic Panzer Wolf

Brewed by: 3 Floyds Brewing (Munster, IN)

Style: Imperial IPA (9.0% ABV)

 

A brew from 3 Floyds which is a treat for those of us up in MN since Floyds does not distribute up here so I had to pick this bad boy up in Chicago on a journey down there. 3 Floyds has a decent reputation for some great brews especially its Dreadnaught IPA so sitting here with their Imperial IPA only gave me hope that they were going to come up with another home run in the IPA department.

The Panzer Wolf poured out a lot lighter than expected for an imperial IPA, usually there is lots of malts in these beasts that counteract the massive amount of hops present which lends a darker color to the brew. This one was a yellow straw-like color so not really a classic color for an average Imperial IPA. There was a loose white head that was somewhat unimpressive as well.

The aroma was fruity and floral hops all the way. There were apricots, apples and pears. Not a tropical sort of arrangement that you sometimes get in big IPA’s but a lighter fruit offering with pears and apples. Reminded me of Duvel and the apples and pears that I picked up when I tasted that brew.

The taste was Imperial for sure. Right away I could detect the booze that came with the brew. At 9.0% this isn’t a laugher and the Panzer Wolf definitely had some teeth that I encountered when I tangled with it. The bitterness was the most present of flavors in there. Pine and earthy hops dominated. It was however a very easy drinking Imperial IPA, somewhat light for the style.

An easy drinking beer that was uncharacteristic for the style but in the end there wasn’t really anything that blew me away with the beer. There wasn’t a big flavor one way or another and the hop profile was somewhat bland for being a big huge IPA. The Arctic Panzer Wolf may have a big bark but the bite is relatively tame in comparison.

 

Final Grade: B

Brew Review: 90 Minute IPA

28 Dec

Brew: 90 Minute IPA

Brewed by: Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales (Milton, DE)

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA (9.0% ABV)

 

Another Dogfish Head brew. I tend to think these are somewhat hit or miss for the most part. Some are excellent beers and most are thought out well and executed to perfection, but the extremity of the style or goal of the beers is sometimes too much to handle. I as hoping that the 90 minute would be a toned down version of the 120 minute and something that would be much more drinkable throughout the beer. Starting at 9% doesn’t give me much hope but I will give it shot regardless.

The beer poured out a bright clear orange, somewhat light amber color. A good looking color, almost like marmalade. There was also a half inch white head that disappeared quickly but left good lacing through the whole glass.

The aroma was very hoppy, the bitterness of the hops was present right from the start and never really stopped. However there was also a solid showing of malts as well in an attempt to balance out the 90 minutes of continuous hop additions during the boil of this beast. They tried at least.

The taste of the beer was off-putting to say the least. Right away on the first sip it was bitter, very bitter. I know this was what they were going for but this might have been a bit much. I really only got the feeling that they somehow figured out how to make hops into syrup and then just dumped that into this bottle. However with that syrup they didn’t get any of the floral or fruity goodness that comes along with hops. After the initial shock of being blasted into Aunt Jemima’s Hop Syrup I did pick up some sweetness from what I can only assume are the malts. At this point my taste buds are pretty much shot and trying to pick out one flavor from another is like choosing between apples and apples. The hops needed balance badly, like Captian Hook needing’ a mother very, very badly.’ The alcohol burn at the end was also unpleasant and unnecessary.

Overall, I think they tried a bit harder on the 120 minute and should have tried to create a recipe that would showcase what they were trying to do with the 90 minute instead of just throwing it at you and then having your taste buds rendered useless after a bottle so you couldn’t tell if it was a bad beer or not.

 

Final Grade: B-

Brew Review: Exponential IPA (release #7)

14 Dec

Brew: Exponential Series Imperial IPA (release #7)

Brewed by: Epic Brewing Co. (Salt Lake City, UT)

Style: Imperial IPA (9.5% ABV)

 

The Epic Brewing company out of Utah has given me some very sub-par brews in the past. However, I had only had beers from a different series. The Classic series is the bottom rung of beers that Epic produces, they have the middle tier which is the Elevated series and then they have the top dog, the Exponential Series. Well needless to say, the Classic isn’t much to talk about, Bonnie Raitt would be fairly silent after one of those. I am hoping that Exponential Series can deliver in a way that I would hope for. On a side note, this beer did bring home the Gold in this years Great American Beer festival, so it already has some people who enjoy it.

On to the beer, it poured out a hazy orange-yellow color, sort of like marmalade. There is some lighter yellow in there but it is mostly an orange color sort of like an apricot. There is a big thick head that rises from the brew, the tight bubbles form a solid very very light tan head in my glass.

The aroma of the beer is almost all hops. There are citrus, grassy and earthy tones from the hops that explode into my nose. There is also some boozy fruit juice like smells as well. There is a little residual sweetness from the malts but this is a hoppy beast up front.

The taste is very bitter from the get go. But very quickly the malts creep up and balance out the bitterness from the hops. Floral hops are present, the hop is a flower after all, but they are well balanced. This is an ‘epic’ IPA that holds its hop oils in high regard but also in check which makes for a well balanced beer that doesn’t become overly bitter or oily. The beer also has a great creamy feel to it which I notice because it isn’t especially carbonated, leaving room for it to mellow out and not become crisp or light on the tongue. There is really no sticky after taste as well.

This beer is an excellent example of balance and it shows in all aspects. The booze never really played a part. The hops were obviously crammed into this beer but the malts were also carefully crafted around them to complement and contain their bitter powers. The beer never gets sticky or overpowering in any way and the whole 22 ounces was pretty easy to drink considering the specs on this one.

Final Grade: A-

Brew Review: Lake Erie Monster

7 Oct

Brew: Lake Erie Monster

Brewed by: Great Lakes Brewing Company (Cleveland, OH)

Style: Imperial IPA (9.1% ABV)

 

The Great Lakes Brewing company, I have seen them around a lot but never really went after their beers. I finally gave into temptation with their imperial IPA, the Monster. The huge hop flavors that come from this beer are to honor the beast that roams the waters of Lake Erie. I don’t know how much a large lake dwelling monster would appreciate the bitterness of hops but at least it might enjoy the recognition its gotten from this beer.

The monster poured out an un-filtered straw orange color. The label tells me its unfiltered but this one is clearer than I would have imagined. There is little to no head, a little white ring coats the top of the beer.

The aroma is all hops. Pine, citrus and even the bitterness you can detect as you get your nose anywhere close to the glass or the bottle the brew came from. As the beer warms up, which it will tend to do as nobody really has intentions of pounding a 9.1% beer right from the get go, more malts show up with their sweet aromas.

The taste continues on much the same as the aroma, from the start you get the very bitter hoppyness of the hops. A harsh onslaught of your taste buds from the hops really leave no place for anything else in the beer. The beer also tastes thick and syrupy from all the hoppy oils. In the end and aftertaste the booze also makes an appearance. The feel of the beer is sub-par. It isn’t very carbonated which leaves the sticky hop oils in your mouth and keeps them there which makes for a somewhat unpleasant aftertaste.

I will be honest I was hoping for a little more from this beer, not the best I have had in the style. There are plenty more and better options out there in the double/imperial IPA category.

 

Final Grade: B-