28 October 2010
And the mystery beer was............
So what did I really think? Well, okay, yeah, it was an excellent Imperial IPA. But I'm not necessarily a hophead. Would I have this again? Definitely, if I were in the area and could get it fresh (this bottle was supposedly picked up for me at Russian River when the blogger was en route to the airport to come to Philadelphia and Baltimore). Would I special-order this if the People's Demokratik Republik of Maryland would let me? Why? I can find a dozen perfectly good alternative I2PAs around town--including Heavy Seas Loose Cannon on cask, occasionally.
Is it worth a sky-high rating on BeerAdvocate or RateBeer--#2 on BA, #23 on RateBeer? It's pretty darned good, but as I see it, the lists there are heavily skewed towards extreme beers. If that's your baseline and you're a hop freak, this is apparently one to seek out. I think its real appeal is that it's just "extreme" enough to appeal to both the "can't get enough hops/alcohol" geeks but just subdued enough for the beer fans who like more moderate beers and don't wish to be assaulted by an overdone beer. In that way, it's spot-on.
My prediction: If they ever get to the point where this beer is made in enough quantity to be sent here, three things will happen:
1) Those who judge beer to brag about it will complain that it's not as good as when someone had to order or bring it directly from the brewery (see New Belgium Fat Tire);
2) Firkins will be sent by jet across the nation to be debuted at big beer events or limited tastings at inflated prices and/or exclusive events;
3) Some twit will insist on trying to pump it through a "Randall" hop infuser..........