IPA DAY 2013 – Bell’s Hop Slam IIPA, Omnipolo Moebius IIPA, Dogfish Head 120 Minute IIPA
I hope everyone had the chance to drink some hoppy and heady beers yesterday for International IPA Day. I managed to make some time for a few tasty beverages throughout the day. I started IPA Day off right with a pint of Hopgasm from 5 Seasons Brewery Prado accompanied by a tasty pulled pork Cuban sandwich with french frys. I love some Hopgasm, it is big and hoppy with just the right amount of bitterness and malt. Yum. I want one right now. I wish the brewpub could sell growlers of that tasty shit… And we’re back.
Later in the evening I sat down with a buddy of mine to check out some bigger IPA’s that I’ve been meaning to drink. We started with the Moebius IIPA by Omnipolo brewery from Sweden. I thoroughly enjoyed this brew. It poured a nice hazy golden color that hinted at a fuller bodied drinking experience. When you smelt the beer your senses were slammed with giant pine and grapefruit aromas. Your nostrils do not lie because this beer beats up your pallet with pine needles and grapefruits. Loads of ’em. The bitterness is right on point too just when you think it might be to much it plateaus but keeps you hanging on the edge. This might have been my favorite of the beer of the evening.
The next beer in the tasting line up was a 2013 Bell’s Hopslam IIPA that has been aging for many months. This big ass IIPA is brewed with honey to off set some of the bitterness. It is a tasty brew but this one had sat around just a little to long. I don’t want to say that the age on this beer made it malt forward but it certainly lost lots of its hoppy appeal. On the nose there was a hint of spicy hop aroma that was dominated by a sweet malty fragrance. Once you dove in there was a muted hop presence as the sweetness from the honey took center stage. All in all it was still a tasty treat but not the hop bomb I was looking for.
The final beer in the IPA Day tasting lineup was a heavy weight. Dogfish Head 120 Minute IIPA is a giant IPA clocking in at 17.5% abv. From start to finish this beer was a battling for your senses. The bouquet slammed your nose three different ways. Super boozy, super hoppy, and super malty. This theme continued throughout the drinking experience as it turned my taste buds up to 11. This thing is a sipper if I have ever seen one. It is hard to say what aspect stands out most about this beer as your palate just gets hit with repeated overwhelming waves of tasty booze, hops, and malty sweetness. Either way it was a monster and I enjoyed it.
I hope you folks had a hoppy IPA Day too!
Flight of Five Russian Imperial Stouts at the Wrecking Bar.
So I went to down to Little 5 Points the other night in search of some good food and drinks before heading to an improv comedy show at Dad’s Garage and ended up at the Wrecking Bar Brew Pub. Man, did I get lucky and head down there on the right night. It turned out to be Wrecking Bar’s 2nd anniversary and this meant that they pulled out the big guns. I started browsing the beer list for the night and was about to order a house brewed Russian Imperial Stout(RIS) that was aged in a Prichard’s Rye Whiskey Barrel. But there were 3 other barrel aged varieties of the Siberius Maximus RIS and the bartender must have seen the concerned look on my face when I realized I wasn’t going to be able to drink four 12% abv stouts without getting to shitty to make it to the improv show. So she offered me a flight of the RIS beers including the non-barrel aged version. This made me happy as I didn’t even think it was a possibility. Thank you bar tender lady; you are a genius! These stouts were each splendid and unique. The original un-aged stout was a malty, sweet, full-bodied monster. Big roasty dark chocolate and honey flavors lead the way in this tasty stout. It is hard to say which one of the “regular” barrel aged versions I liked the most but I think the rum barrel was the winner. The sweetness of the rum played nicely with the chocolate and honey flavors present in this RIS. The Woodford Reserve and Prichard’s version were uniquely different from each other with the Woodford being the smoother and less peppery of the two. But my favorite RIS of the night would be the Mexican RIS aged in a Prichard’s Rye Whiskey barrel. DAMN, it was good. They turned up the heat on the standard RIS recipe and added hot peppers, cinnamon, and other good things that I can not remember. This thing was full flavored through and through. It had complementary but contrasting flavors that would take you from sweet vanilla and cinnamon and then rocket you to caramel and chocolate notes with a big spicy finish that left some residual heat and my mouth begging for another sip. This was by far my favorite but the entire RIS line up, it was excellent. If your in 5 Points swing on down to the Wrecking Bar and check out what’s on tap.
5 Seasons Hopgasm IPA
I hit up 5 Seasons Brewing Prado location for dinner the other night and got to sip on a great IPA. Their house brewed IPA is called Hopgasm. It is a big IPA that is mellow on the bitterness and it can easily be sipped or slammed depending on your mood. It was Memorial Day weekend and the pigs were rolling deep in my neck of the woods so I chose the former drinking method. The brew pub has a good selection of beers brewed in-house as well as a couple of other craft brews on tap from time to time; but I am usually stuck on the Hopgasm because it is so tasty. For dinner I had the Ropa Vieja which is a marinated skirt steak with vegetables and avocado/lime mashed potatoes. The whole meal was great (probably the 3rd time I’ve had it) and I love the mashed potatoes so much that I have made them at home (I added some fresh jalapenos to mine). If you are looking for some good brews and a solid meal head on down to 5 Seasons Brewing. Oh and try the beer cheese soup too!