Saturday, September 26, 2009
MSBB IPA Series - Tyranena, Where Did You Come From? Hop Whore DIPA
So, I decided to take a crack at doing something different at the blog in addition to our regular reviews: this is the first entry of a special series we are running with respect to a particular type of beer. That beer would be IPAs. I didn't hear back from my busy pal Shaun regarding whether he's agreeable to this, but I have a feeling that the opportunity to taste and review potentially great IPAs is something he's in to.
Let's return to talking about beer. Hops are perhaps the most striking ingredient in a beer, and no style of beer better expresses hop characteristics than the IPA. There are many different styles within this increasingly popular sub-genre, some sweeter and maltier, such as the legendary Dogfish Head 90 or Southern Tier's IPA; some as baldly hoppy and dry in mouthfeel as Mojave sand, such as Stone Ruination or Surly's Furious.
But, as indicated by the hearts above, IPA's are my beer bread and butter, the beer genre that will keep the sudsy beverage as my drink of choice (too bad we need water). I have a love affair with the IPA, constantly seeking out new cumulus cloud headed, biting hop concoctions to quaff.
My local wine store, Lush Wines and Spirits, happens to feature an IPA from Wisconsin, Tyranena's elegantly named Hop Whore. Normally, I would shy away from an unknown Wisconsin brewery; that state's beers are generally barely more flavorful than a bottle of Aquafina or Dasanti. Having tried Tyranena's Rocky's Revenge that a buddy is crazy about, I gave it a shot. Encouraging, their slogan is "A Series of Big, Bold Ballsy Beers." Besides, how bad can an IPA be?
My curiosity was rewarded. This is an exceptional beer. I poured it an an Alpha King glass that will someday live on the IKEA shelf I spent 17 hours assembling last night. Great instructions, Swedes! The beer pours an incredibly thick and bright white head that lingers forever - I knew there would be action in that glass. It smells woodsy, and of sharp, floral hops. The flavorful body leans toward the bitter side, and the malt presence is in the background. Nothing is out of balance or overwhelming but the bitterness is deep and long lasting with a terrific finish. A palate cleanser, this will stand up to any food, and probably a few brutish Northwoodsmen, agitated about the postponement of the start of deer hunting season.
So, congrats, Wisconsin! You have a respectable beer. Now you have something good to drink with those brats!
HOLY WATER, DRINK, OR POUR IT DOWN THE SINK SCALE: This one's in the holy water range of the scale, folks. If you are an IPA fan and therefore not a loser, this is for you.