Thursday, December 5, 2013

Knee Deep Midnight Hoppyness

type: imperial black, rye, IPA (an IBRIPA??)
origin: Lincoln, CA
price: $8.35/22oz
ABV: 9.5%
NSP: 7.4

The funny thing about this review is that, in retrospect, I had no idea what type of beer this was when I bought it.  I thought it was some variant on their 'hoppy-as-fuck' IPA schtick, so when I poured it I was legitimately shocked (cuss words were exclaimed).  And so here we are: the first official "imperial black rye IPA" I've ever had, and it's rather delicious.

My standard for Black IPA (or "Cascadia Dark Ale", if you please) has always been Hop in the Dark or Sublimely Self-Righteous.  The flavors are very similar, but of those only SSR comes close to this in the ABV range (8.7%, although that's also brutally imperial).  The head is nice, and aligned with my expectations for the style: somewhere between tan and brown, like a nice espresso crema.  Oddly, given Knee Deep's hop-utation, there aren't really any aromas coming from that lovely head, which forced a double take from me.  Fortunately, though, the lack of solid aromas is essentially negligible because the beer itself is incredibly tasty, deceptively hoppy, and very smooth and easy to drink.  It finishes a bit light which is a little unexpected, but I'm thoroughly enjoying this.

With Batch 138 I was becoming worried that KD was a one-trick pony (i.e., the schtick I mentioned earlier), but this says otherwise.  I'm impressed because not many breweries even attempt the single black IPA (let alone an imperial!), yet this is exceptional.  So I cheers a bravo to KD: you folks are a pony with more than one trick.  Let's just hope you decide to brew this again.

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