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Saturday, August 3, 2013

IPA Month- 21st Amendment "Hop Crisis"

 IPA month on Man Drinks Beer continues with another one of my favorite brewery's- 21st Amendment from San Fransisco.

Great beer often comes in a can these days, and when you purchase a beer from 21st Amendment, you get a can with attitude, both inside and out.

 These guys take beer seriously- from whats in the can,  right down to the packaging. Adorned with cartoons and captions that are great reads, a can of 21st Amendment provides both a meal and entertainment.

Honestly, I have long felt that commercial art- product packages, CD cases (does anyone actually buy cds anymore? Really? Anyone remember LPs and the great art you got on those? * sigh*..but I digress) etc- is a dying medium, and God Bless these guys for taking it seriously while keeping it fun and engaging.

Hop Crisis- Imperial India Pale Ale aged on oak spirals
21st Amendment
Part of the "Insurrection Series"
9.7% ABV, 94 IBU's

First, read the story on the can about the "hop syndicate" "hoarding hops"...its great, and explains the origin of the beers name. Seriously. Read it!

Hop Crisis pours a cloudy yellow orange with a healthy two fingers of foam. Head retention is excellent and appreciated by this drinker.

The smell is hoppy citrus at first, mild, then come some sweet cereal notes. There's a hearty malt bill on this Imperial IPA, and its obvious from the nose.

Mouthfeel is moderate, with mild carbonation. Almost chewy, but definitely not too heavy.

Tasting finds generous notes of oak induced vanilla up front, followed quickly by an orange citrus hoppiness, rounded out by a sweet caramel malt to balance it all out. Finish is slightly bitter, with a nice warming alcohol sensation. (Ah- there's the booziness I was looking for!)

This is definitely not a traditional west coast style Imperial IPA. It has far, far more balance than a typical west coast hop bomb. But, it shares some characteristics with the classic west coast Imperials in that it has HUGE flavor and is surprisingly smooth for 9.7% abv. That's what aging a beer on oak will do for- mellow it out, smooth out the aggressive flavors, and take off the edges.

I loved this beer. I love the character brought out by the oak aging, I love the supreme balance they achieve with a super strong malt bill- Pale, Munich, Dextrose- against what is a very assertive hop profile- Columbus, Centenial, Cascade. I highly recommend this beer, but be warned, it doesn't taste like a 9.7% ABV beer, so drink responsibly. 

Similar beers that compare to this beer:
Dogfish Head Burton Baton

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