Friday, February 8, 2013

HUB (Hopworks Urban Brewery) Abominable Winter Ale

Type: Imperial red ale
Origin: Portland, OR
Price: $6.99/22oz
ABV: 7.3%
NSP: 6.79

See what I mean by cartoony/ClipArt labels?

I had HUB's IPA during my Portland Beerplow last year, and it was one of the better beers I had there.  I thought (and hoped) that this was going to be a winter seasonal IPA in the fashion of Lagunitas Sucks.  But turns out it's a red ale.  At least it's got ABV and IBU (70) boosted to IPA levels.

Of course, not knowing it was a red ale when I opened it (the bottle doesn't specify the style), I was a bit put off by the color.  But it's got pretty sharp hoppy aromas with a good bit of grapefruit, and that's good at least.  Unfortunately, I detect a fair amount of mustiness, particularly as it warms, and that throws the whole thing awry.

The mustiness stays there in the flavor too, and unfortunately masks most of the higher qualities- in particular, a peppery hoppiness that kind of makes me think of Ruthless Rye (I don't know if there's any actually rye in there), and a well-balanced malt back that holds up to the bitterness without being overly sweet.  As far as red ales go, this one's quite good.  But the mustiness holds it back from being top flight.  Oh well.  They can't all be as good as Hop Venom.


  1. An organic beer that's good? Hmm.

  2. Good might be a bit of a stretch. It could be good. But as it is it's sort of decently average.