With summer ending, it seems like an appropriate time to sit and reflect on the passing season. I couldn’t think of a better way to do that than by enjoying a refreshing Imperial IPA. Tonight’s choice comes from a favorite brewer of mine, Mikkeller. He’s a bit of an obscure bloke around these parts, which makes his beers hard to find, but I assure you they are worth seeking out.
Mikkeller is a gypsy brewer which means that he doesn’t actually have a brewery site. He started as a homebrewer and is now based out of Copenhagen, Denmark. Mikkeller travels throughout the world brewing his recipes at already established breweries and then distributes his products, with very simple labeling and little to no marketing, from those sites. According to his website, his success is due to the brewers focus on creating challenging beers that test boundaries and where quality always comes before quantity. In other words, uncompromising beer! Mikkeller has become very well known amongst beer snobs of the world and I hope that Knox Snobs come to know his craft as well.
I picked up a bottle of I Beat You (a play on IBU, I assume) Imperial IPA at Downtown Wine and Spirits, 407 Gay Street. Mikkeller beers are definitely on the pricey side, ($7.99 for a 12 oz. bottle) but for an Imperial IPA, this one is without rival and definitely worth the price. The I Beat You was brewed at BrewDog, a Scottish brewery located at the Kessock Industrial Estate in Fraserburgh, Scotland. At 9.75% ABV, this one is a bit boozy and quite the hop bomb. With an aroma of tropical fruitiness and piney hops, it smells like the color green has been splashed with a hint of grapefruit. There’s an oily mouthfeel to this one which resonates from the Herkules, Centennial, Warrior, Amarillo, Simcoe and Columbus hops. It’s completely off balanced and blasts the pallate with hoppy goodness and sour fruits. The finish is bitter and sweet with a lingering on the tongue that leaves me wanting more! Sip on this one and enjoy its complexity. It reminds this beer snob of what summer should taste like.