27 January 2011

Post #1000: Mikkeller "1000 IBU"

Yes, close to three years now (actual "birthday" is February 14th), and this is officially Post Number 1,000 as far as Blogger.com is counting (and we'll conveniently disregard a handful of posts retroactively deleted, plus updated ones).

I was hoping to review a 1999 bottle of Dominion Millennium for the occasion, but the bottle I thought I had seems to have absconded into the custody of "The Thing That Lives Under Sandy's Stuff."  Steve Jones had offered to split a bottle of Bell's Batch 10,000 today while brewing Oliver Breweries' 18th-anniversary smoked porter, but the nasty weather of the past 24 hours interfered with those plans.  Therefore, without further ado:

Mikkeller 1000 IBU, 9.6% Danish Imperial IPA, served on draft at Max's Taphouse:  Casey says as he serves it, "It's not actually a thousand IBU's!"  Very hazy, deep amber/tan, fine-foamed head akin to a Guinness or well-pumped cask ale, with low carbonation, a head that seemingly could last forever.  The nose is initially subdued thanks to the aforementioned head.  The first sip is an outright assault--enough hop bitterness and acidity to etch the back of the throat, and maybe the teeth.  There is seemingly no malt backbone or character to this at all, at least for the first half of the glass--seemingly the only purpose of the malt is as bread and egg are to the crabcake, a binder.  And seemingly the only purpose of the alcohol in this is as a partial balance.  Over halfway through the glass, the beer finally acclimates to the throat--somewhat.  This beer, like BrewDog's Nanny State, was brewed either as a gimmick or to prove a point, and that point may well be "people will drink hop extract if you market it correctly."  Two-thirds of the way through the glass, I'm getting a headache; at the bottom of the glass, my stomach briefly reacts negatively.

As described in the comments to an earlier post, this beer rates extremely highly with regular reviewers at BeerAdvocate.com, to the extent that more negative reviews left by less frequent brewers were weighted heavily against being incorporated into the total average.  This beer is guaranteed to be as polarizing as major political figures or commentators.  You like hops that much?  Go get it.  Myself, I'll reach for the much better Heavy Seas Thank You, Thank You Very Much if I see any of it again.....

Oh, and the steam locomotive in the last post?  New York Central 999, now preserved at the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago..


Jay Zeis said...


The Oriole Way said...

As of earlier this week there was still some Thank You out in Owings Mills, where the New Town Wine & Spirits shop has noticeably upgraded their 22oz bottle selection. There was even some Full Sail Wreck the Halls and Heavy Seas Greater Pumpkin on my last trip.

stevejones said...

Congratulations Sandy, it's quite an achievement! Keep up the good work, your blog is a valuable asset to the local beer community.

JohnM. said...

"This beer, like BrewDog's Nanny State, was brewed either as a gimmick or to prove a point"

I had a chance to try it last night as well, and that was also my take (though I didn't think it awful - I thought it warranted a score of B). However, increasingly that's my take on a lot of the stuff made by Mikkeller these days (had the Koppi coffee IPA as well, and was equally unimpressed; also things like the brunch weasel {in all its incarnations}, their yeast series crap and the absolutely repulsive Black). I know they have a talented brewer, but increasingly I get the impression their focus is more on marketing and cute gimmicks. So a beer like this, I guess, was almost expected.

Am very happy I only ordered a sample pour at Max's last night.

BeerGuy said...

Congrats Sandy!

Increasingly I'm having more and more "freshness" issues with a lot of imported craft stuff and even stuff from our more distant states.

I think this is sometimes one of the perils of a rigid 3-tier system, especially if breweries don't date their products.

This is slightly tangential but at the same time, when I see something like Mikkeller at a bottle shop or at Max's or whatever I hesitate more often now, not knowing how long it was on the shelf and before that in various warehouses, being subjected to perhaps indiscriminate treatment.

Perhaps that affects many others' interpretation of how they taste the beer(s) now compared to how the brewer probably intended them to taste many months ago.