Total Score: 8.5/10
Imperial or Double IPA (India Pale Ale) what is the difference? Is beer terminology becoming too archaic? Which terminology do you prefer to use? In answer to these questions: Nothing, yes, and I prefer Double IPA (“Imperial” is a bit of an anachronistic term dating back to when English brewers were trying to sway Russian Imperial Czars into drinking their beers). Now that we have established that: #450 is another milestone review which warranted Sierra Nevada’s best – they declare this DIPA as their most insanely hoppy brew at 10.4% ABV and I say “Ave at it!”.
Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Hazy, bright ethereal orange body with a bold half centimetre cream coloured head atop. Fantastic that it even managed at head at such a high ABV. 9/10.
S: There’s a massive hop assault on the olfactory senses, but it isn’t as complex as expected… pretty much starburst orange, grapefruit and pine notes, that’s it. Still I’m liking the massiveness of the hops. 8/10.
T: It’s big and sweet, almost a sugar-bomb, then the hops come out and say “Uh-uh, sugar, time to succumb to my bitter glory!” and slap down with a nice big bitter hop finish that is very well balanced. There is a mixture of hop flavours swirling around: Starburst orange candy, pine, grapefruit and juicy fruit chewing gum hints abound and easily make your tongue their slave. There are malt characters as well providing a tasty sweet caramel sheen to everything. The finish is impressive in how light the bitterness manages to be given the hop onslaught. That said it is not for the faint of heart – this DIPA is big and demands your immediate flavour attention, and I commend it for that. 9/10.
M: As well as having a big flavour profile the body is quite viscous and coats your tongue in its glorious hop resins like some sort of giant hop blanket. There is a minimal carbonation trying to compete with this viscosity, but overall you may need a glass of water to see this brew through. 8/10.
D: Well I didn’t expect anything less than a bolder, more viscous version of Torpedo and Hoptimum delivers well. I would have to say this is a damn fine benchmark to aspire to if you’re brewing a DIPA and it is definitely a beer that will see itself in my fridge again in the not so distant future. Cheers Sierra Nevada! 8/10.
Food match: Big ales require big flavours, in this respect I am recommending a Habanero Beef Stew or Chicken Vindaloo… If you do this please send me a video.