Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hoptimum Imperial IPA

Justen Parris brought this beer over to my house last weekend, along with a couple others to try. Gave him a tour of the Nieu Coope and garden. Unfortunately it was in the morning, and I was about to head out for a run. Nevertheless we split this one 3 ways (and that was enough). Tasted using my tasting flight.

Appearance: Golden amber with a highly apparent carbonation. Head is foamy with a soapy off white consistency. Accumulation of bubbles on the side. Dry Styrofoam white lacing clings on the glass. Head retention is quite favorable. Minor flocculents appear at the bottom of the glass.
Aroma: Rich sweet malt bill reminiscent of honey and mellow fruit undertones. Floral notes with a dash of pine. Biscuit and caramel malt maintain a foundation. Almost a medicinal element to the beer. Subtle orange and tangerine add an additional spice to the end.
Taste: The malt profile is honeyed with a biscuit profile. The hops are more reminiscent of pine and lemon but with a grassy thistle complexion. I find that the alcohol encourages the hop resins to the extent that the finish is somewhat solventy. Gradually as the palate gets used to the beer it begins to exhibit a a greater complexity by way of resins with more sweet lemon and pine flavor a well as a spiciness. Again the tangerine flavor shows up with a mild undertone near the end as it melds into the alcohol. Some grapefruit, but an under-ripe flavor. I sense from the sweet flavor and the solvent which makes me think that there was a hefty amount of cane sugar. Aftertaste is spiced but initially fruity, leaving behind a dried semi-wood bark character.
Mouthfeel: Body is quite viscous and thick, but the finish gives an alternative impression of thinness. Carbonation loosens the beer, but in a very minimal way. It kind of reminds me of a syrup that's been microwaved but where the heat is substituted for the alcohol.
Overall Impression: I wasn't overly impressed with this beer. I thought the solvent and alcohol were over done, leaving little complexity for the hops to bear through. It almost takes over the malt backbone. If you can make it past the alcohol, one may draw some variant flavors, but not many. I think it just doesn't fit together.


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