Tuesday, July 6, 2010

ya sure ya betcha

The first brewery I ever visited was the Redhook Brewery in Woodinville, Washington. I had a blast there and just missed the brewery tour, but got some delicious bratwurst instead. Now, I know they've been bought out by some craft beer group, but I still have fond memories of this place. This beer, the Big Ballard Imperial IPA, is a tribute to one of the first beers they brewed, the Ballard Bitter IPA.

Appearance - Light auburn color, nice frothy head (about a finger's width). I enjoyed the head retention, especially in IPAs. Looked slightly bubbly. 4.0/5.0

Smell - Piney, floral hops. Distinctive scent, but not overwhelming. I prefer my Imperial IPAs to have a potent aroma, which this was lacking. 2.5/5.0

Taste - There are five hops used this in beer (Alchemy, Williamette, Sterling, Northern Brewer and Cascade) and they are expertly blended well together. Imperial IPAs seem to go either over-the-top strong or extraordinarily smooth - this beer is the latter. There are lots of IBUs (73), but I didn't think it was really that bitter. Grapefruit, pine, hint of sweetness from the malt. 4.5/5.0

Feel - Unerrily smooth, the head tasted thick. Minimal aftertaste, the flavor hits you strong then dissipates. 4.5/5.0

Drinkability - This beer falls into the category of Imperial IPAs that will kick you in the butt without you knowing it. I would pick up again, if anything, for the nostaglia of it coming from the first brewery I visited. - 4.0/5.0

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