Deschutes has made a huge splash since arriving here in Chicago this year. I was stunned to find Mirror Pond and Black Butte Porter available in bottles at the United Center (note that I was there to see - get this -the Pistons). Mirror Pond was highly enjoyable upon my first-ever draught. And I love the Hop Henge. So, I was excited to finally try the Inversion IPA since the reviews had been quite positive.
I was served the Inversion in a standard pint glass, which is just as well. I consider this a straightforward beer not needing imperial or limited-release treatment. I don't understand serving standard-issue ales in snifters, such as Bear Republic Racer 5. To me, these are backyard beers that you can drink out of a bottle at a tailgate. Drinking a Brooklyn Lager out of a snifter makes you seem like some stuffy elitist who probably drops his prep school name on you in the first five minutes of conversation. Oh well, enough with the rant and back to the review.
Inversion is a rock-solid IPA. It looks like one and smells like one. What's distinguishable is its heavy density. This is a malt-heavy affair that is very creamy and rather heavy on the tongue in a way that's unusual for an Oregon IPA. Don't get me wrong: the hops are clearly there and in sufficient supply. Extremely spicy hops leap out of the glass. Herb flavors play prominently in the mix. It finishes with a delightful hop acid burn. It's the West Coast cousin of Founders' Centennial, but is the more muscular cousin who's done a few 'roids in his day.
This is simply a rock-ribbed IPA for when you are not in the mood for the nuanced subtleties of some imperial hop and ABV assault. Also, Iversion has a very homebody, lived in, almost-winter-warmer texture and feel about it.
4.1 of 5 stars.