Saturday, June 5, 2010
Hopsickle Imperial Ale
This afternoon I'm drinking Hopsickle Imperial Ale brewed by Moylan's Brewing Company in Novato, California. The label is busy, but grabs your attention with bright yellow and red writing on a shiny gray background. First, you will notice "TRIPLE HOPPY" suggesting this goes beyond your normal Imperial IPA. Next, a handful of awards are listed, but I did notice most are from 3 or 4 years ago. There is a giant red banner that says "LIVE ALE! - KEEP REFRIGERATED" right above a map to their brewery and the owner's email. Yeah, Brendan Moylan wants to hear from you; I was going to put the email here, but half a dozen of their staff are listed on the website, too, so I'll feel less guilty if you go from there. Finally, Brendan's little intro to the beer ends with "Pucker Up!" You'll remember me trying that a few weeks ago. After you read the review below, you'll probably be able to guess which was more puckery! If not, then ask me, (Stupid!).
Tangerine and pine with a tropical and candy punch, plus bread. That's what I thought about the smell! Very nice. Totally different flavors though, and I might curse here out of necessity. Massive fucking black pepper and hoppy, spicy flavors up front. Very harsh and aggressive bitterness. Lemon and orange citrus zest with caramel are also present in a thick, resinous and oily beer so far. This beer is not balanced and quite like some kind of hop-heroin or hop-crack, really. Spicy and alcohol will warm you up and burn you down, too, though the 9.2% alcohol is disguised well over all 22 ounces. Somewhere, yes in this beer, there is a hint of honey, but it's like that family secret no one is allowed to discuss.
Well, I liked this beer, but I'm pretty sure that I learned something today. Despite my love for hoppy, bitter beers, I like my hop bombs with a bit more sweet balance than Hopsickle was willing to offer. This bitterness left behind on my palate is going to ruin my lunch, dinner and probably a few meals tomorrow. Forget Stone's Ruination! This has that beat by a zillion miles! This is the real deal! It's even taking me super long to write this review because the bitterness has cleansed me from all possible concentration.
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