Wednesday, December 12, 2012

River North Hoppenberg Uncertainty Principle Belgian DIPA

Type: Belgian Double IPA
Origin: Denver, CO
Price: $8.99/22oz
ABV: 9.0%
NSP: 6.51
website (pretty useless info-wise, but whatever)

A while back, Andy and I agreed that the tendency of breweries to name their IPAs with some sort of 'hop'-based pun was getting to be a bit much.  You know, Hoptopia, Hoptagon, Hoptologist, Modus Hoperandi, that sort of thing.  This one takes the cake.  The name of this beer is utterly ridiculous.  The brewmaster is apparently a former engineer, but that's no excuse.  It's just terrible.

At the same time, once I was able to quit scoffing at the name, I saw 9.0% ABV and Belgian at a reasonable price, so I grabbed it. This one's from yet another new brewery in Denver, which evidently took over part of the facility Flying Dog used to use before they wandered off to Maryland so they could produce the punishing Double Dog in greater quantities (and presumably with some sort of tax relief).  It's 100+ IBU, so I'm fully expecting a palate-obliterating SOB.

The nose is pretty amazing, actually.  There's a lot of citrus-driven hops, so kudos there.  And a lot of Belgian yeastiness that brings Unibroue to mind, which is a huge feather in the cap.  Add some spice notes in there, and it's highly appealing while also a warning that this may be a very dangerous beer if the flavor holds to the same standard.

Whoa.  This is really delicious, and kind of mindblowing given how new these guys are.  The yeast is really potent right up front, just a huge blast of Belgianity.  Right behind it is a massive hop punch that brings a hefty bitterness and a bunch of citrus to the party (orange and grapefruit in particular).  Each of the yeast and the hops would be completely overwhelming on their own, and they're equally overwhelming in tandem, but they manage to balance each other out even though I'm not sure how they pull it off.  It's a total palate blaster- you won't be able to taste a thing after this, and you'll probably be fairly drunk, but this beer clearly isn't pretending to aim for anything else.

Well, shit, I'm impressed.  Most new breweries would take years to figure out how to make a beer of this style that's not completely unapproachable.  But these guys have hit the mark surpassingly well right off the bat.  They can name their beers with whatever terrible pun they want from now on and I won't make a fuss.

No comments:

Post a Comment