Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Quick Sips: Fort Collins the Incredible Hop Imperial Black IPA
You'd forgive the awful photo if you could experience the gigantic hoppy goodness of Fort Collins' fantastic Imperial Black IPA.
So what the hell is an Imperial Black IPA, anyway? The name and style are both relatively recent inventions (and even the name is in dispute; the style is also called a Cascadian Dark Ale). Imagine a beer that has the dark, fat, malty, roasted body of a stout, but has the huge, aggressive, floral hops of a big India Pale Ale. That's a Black IPA.
In the case of this beer by Fort Collins, "big" is the right word. It clocks in at 10% ABV. You'd never know it, though. There is so much taste going on here that the alcohol doesn't stand a chance. The hops are GIGANTIC, smelling like a musty old forest of citrus and pine trees -- and I mean that in the best way possible. The bitterness is big, too, but the malty backbone of this beer stands up well to the assault of all those hops. There are tastes of roasted chocolate and coffee throughout, and plenty of murky blackness for folks who like their beer black coffee-dark.
If you want an aggressive beer that will blast your mouth with flavor, this is it. Highly recommended for hop heads and malt addicts alike.