While on a recent visit to Sheffield's, I had a pint of this served to me in a standard American pint glass. I was in the mood for something different and I had never had this one before. I've also had a lot of success with Green Flash's beers over the years. Their lineup leans toward the brutally bitter side, but they have shown to be capable of elegant restraint. I would not rate this one among my favorites from the San Diego beer practitioner.
Hop Odyssey is a black IPA that's charcoal dark with a thick, foamy two-finger head. It smelled heavily of pine, not all that different from their classic West Coast IPA. A surprisingly creamy mouthfeel smothers your palate. For a second there, I swore I was drinking this from a nitro pour. In fact, I'd be shocked if someone doesn't put this on nitro. All in all, it's very thick and dense. Piney hops dominate the flavor and give it a dry bitterness. It has a substantial underpinning of roasted malts but it's not as roasty as I might expect out of a black IPA. The finish is rather satisfyingly bitter.
Overall, this is a solid BIPA but unspectacular. I'm not sure why they bothered shipping this out to Chicago. It's not such special product that this market, already oversaturated with BIPA's from Stone's, to Greenbush's Anger Black, to others, needed another one that's only decent. Sublimely Self-Righteous, which is far more citrusy and has a more coffee-like roasted malt profie, crushes this. I'd have Odyssey again, but only if I was really in the mood for a beer (when am I not?) and the lineup in the bar lacked a solid top of the order. This is about a 6th hitter. It won't be starting the all-star game.
3.5 of 5 stars.