Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hopsickle Imperial IPA, Moylan's Brewing Co., Novato, CA

To be honest, I've never had anything from Moylan's Brewing Co., so I wasn't sure what to expect. After a couple of sips, it was clear that I've been missing out on something great.

The Hopsickle Imperial IPA clocks in at 9.2% ABV, but the real story is the impressive and dramatic amount of hop flavor that is packed into this beer. I'm not always the biggest fan of the "super hop beer" trend, as it seems like some breweries are taking a questionable product and dumping hops into it. I can say with conviction that this is not the case with this beer.

As this beer goes into the glass with a nice caramel color, your nose is assaulted with a lively citrus-y hop aroma. There is also a touch of malt in the background of the scent, almost as a reminder that this is a beer and not a glass of hop extract. The taste is dominated by hop flavor, sweet at first but increasingly bitter and astringent as you swallow the beer. But, the malt comes through again, ensuring that the bitterness doesn't become overpowering. But, unlike the malt flavor, the bitterness stays with you, practically coating your tongue in hops. The alcohol is notable, mostly because it serves to balance out some of the bitterness. I wish I bought two bottles...

I feel like I could grow hops just by spitting on the ground after this beer.

Rating = 4.5

After all of the Octoberfest beers that I had this fall, the Hopsickle is a welcome change of pace.

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