I recently traded beer for the first time with a couple of nice beer nerds. It is *fun* to get a box of beer goodies, so I recommend it!
Plenty of new things to try, but first: a "duet" of Imperial IPAs.
First, Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic out of CA, the first I've tried from these guys. I'm curious about their name - it seems like it's more about bears, than bears.
The Hop Rod Rye (check out the cool label!) poured a lovely darkish amber-brown, very cloudy, with a huge pillowy light brown head. The head was massive with great retention and tons of lace. This was an interesting Imperial IPA. It's made with 18% rye which gave it a unique flavor and smell. The smell and taste had tons of great sweet citrus hops, bitter piney hops, but also some strong peppery spice. I could feel it in my throat just from smelling it. The spicy and bitter rye added some depth to the flavor, but didn't overpower it. It was really good and different. This was a nice beer, tasty, well-balanced, attractive, and soft from the huge foam. I'm interested in trying more rye beers now, along with some more from Bear Republic. A-
Mmm, another one from Stone. Ruination, the bottle explains, is called that because its extreme hops and IBUS (international bitterness units) will "ruin" your palate and everything afterwards will just taste bland. It has 100 IBUs (IPAs typically have 40+); this is high. Appearance is lovely. Clear orange-amber with decent sudsy head that left some lace. This beverage tastes strongly of hops - citrus, florals, and pines in yo' face. I also got some mild malts, sweet vanilla, and earthy notes. As it warmed the bitterness came out, but not unpleasantly, against delicious orange and lemon notes. Mouthfeel is very smooth, medium-bodied, slightly oily, and a delicious (bitter) hops residue behind. I don't know that my palate is "ruined," more like "delighted." Yes! A
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