This brew is the high water mark for me as far as high IBU beverages go. And the amazing part, this a relatively smooth, if unbelievably hoppy and bitter brew. Calling this an IPA is not really fair. This is as close to liquid hops as I have found. This brew ranks VERY high in my books, and allow me to explain why…
Type of Beer: Imperial IPA
Beer: Palate Wrecker (Hamilton’s Ale)
Brewery: Green Flash Brewing Company
Place of purchase: Bevmo (Tucson, AZ)
So this beer reeks of hops and has the most amazing resinous taste to it. The initial smell is just an overwhelming rush of hops. Possibly among the very best smells I have ever experienced from a beer. Very little hints of citrus, very little masking, just raw, pure hops. The first tastes are a little earthy, not bitter in the slightest, and bring to mind pine and caramel. And then, as it sits, or after you swallow, the onslaught of bitterness of hops. The rest of the experience is chasing that first taste, and making sure that you actually experienced something as bitter and malty and hoppy as you think you just did. And each taste builds up from the next, and by the end of the pint / bottle / bomber (I’ve had all three, and to be honest, the experience was best from a bomber) your palate is truly and completely, wrecked.
This is beer is pretty close to the whole package for me. Opening act, awesome middle, and basically impossible to follow. When I heard that this brew was 140+ IBUs (it seems the consensus is 149 IBUs, reached without the use of extracts, which is, of course, insane. But this what happens when you have 6 lbs of hops per barrel of brew) I simply had to try it. In fact this beer’s appearance at my local watering hole was the entire purpose for a trip down there.
Additional tasting notes, if you let it warm a bit, the flavors simply explode, it is not dissimilar to drinking an idealized version of straight hops. Sort of caramel malts with a slightly sweet, truly hoppy resiny feel and taste to the brew. And an aftertaste that absolutely, completely refuses to leave. I will purchase this beer at every and any opportunity.
Sam, AKA Gamecat235