Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Kern River Just Outstanding IPA

type: IPA
origin: Kernville, CA
price: $6-8(?)/22 oz
ABV: 6.8
NSP: 7.4 (at $6)

So the Non Snob crew is balls deep into this massive IPA tasting, but also in a hiatus (Sambo is traveling).  Because of this I get the privilege of staring at full bottles of presumably wonderful tasting IPA sitting in my fridge.  And that's fucking hard to do when (a) you still have no idea how many of them taste (Chris is being a results Nazi), and (b) it's beer in the fridge (why would you let it temp you?!).  Fortunate for me, though, because we made a collective decision to restock before resuming future rounds - you know, because of that whole hop-spoilage/muting thing.  And tonight I finally said screw it, I'm drinking that damn Kern River.

This was one of the hardest beers for us to get thus far, so I'm not going to write my usual two sentence, semi-coherent ramblings.  This beer has been gaining in reputation (94/100 BA,  99/100 RB) because, apparently, their shit's good - real good.  Honestly, part of me is wondering: How much, if any, of this hype comes from the name?

The aromas streaming out of the bottle reminded me of sticking my nose deep into a pile of fresh hop-pellets.  I don't really have the nose or the palate to pick out the varietal of hop, (and I don't give a shit if you can or can't,) but the bottle says they used Simcoe and Amarillo.  A while back I pretty emphatically claimed Amarillo was the winner of the Hermitage single-hop series.

But it's the taste that makes a beer-believer, and I think this is directly on point with an "outstanding" IPA.  I nearly shit my pants with the Blind Pig review, and this clearly has similar qualities: straight forward flavors in a medium body backbone, all well-balanced by hop bitterness and aromas.   In short, a beautiful IPA with some amazing lacing qualities.
If your glass looks like this, you're drinking a well-crafted beer.
Our first blind IPA tasting resulted in a shocker: Dogfish 60 and 90 were by far not our favorite beers, even though they proudly print the "best IPA" quote on the bottle.  So we will see how this beer holds in the blind tasting, if we ever finish it.  Until then, I'll just go ahead and say this lives up to the hype.

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