It's a double IPA, but brewed by Mendocino who tend to be a bit more even-handed or maybe even reserved in their beers. I like that about them. Even so, this was a very hoppy beer. When you pop the cap on a bottle, and immediatly get a strong whiff of something from the bottle while it's still on the counter, you know you're in for a treat. Or maybe just a dickload of hops. Either way.
This, mercifully, was the former.
I can tell you firstly that this did not seem like the 8% beer that it apparently is. It disappeared from the glass much faster than it should have. Frequently* efficient drinking is the way to go. In this particular case, I hadn't really planned on having a drink. A full Thanksgiving just previous to this proved to be very tiring, so the effect was enhanced. I was suddenly reminded of the joyous enthusiasm that one experiences when swiftly drinking a pint out of enjoyment. Yea, back to the enjoyment. Mendocino Imperial IPA tastes like a lot of double IPA's and even some IPA's on the market, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Half way through the beer I couldn't help but compare it to Sierra Nevada's Torpedo IPA or 21st Amendment's Brew Free or Die IPA: IPA's which definitely have more alcohol than an average IPA, but not so much bitterness and alcohol that it's a screaming, palate-ruining example either. A Goldilocks IPA, if you will.
As mentioned, the initial aroma is of grapefruity, orangey hops. Malty, alcohol aromas are readily apparent as well. The alcohol is more of the smooth, warming type rather than the harsh or dominating type. Malt flavors are definitely there as well, but balanced by the alcohol and hop bitterness. I think the alcohol component is really a factor in the flavor of this style that is overlooked. It should help cut the malt backbone while providing some accent to the hops. The way malt alcohol and hops play in this one create a very very balanced beer that's easier to drink than it probably should be. Christ, I want another one after all that.
Cheers to Mendocino
|The view from the couch. Well done, fellas|
*which is to say, "always"