It’s been a pretty decent Saturday afternoon. I got to sleep in a little bit, and then we went to the gym. I got a little work done around the house, before we had to go get pictures taken with my son’s baseball team. now I’m working on the house, and decided to take a break and have this beer. I picked it up last fall when my family and I took a trip up to Western Michigan. before we left town, I picked up several local beers, and this was one of them. I didn’t mean to wait this long to enjoy this Imperial IPA. The label says, “MFG 5/13/14,” so it’s almost a year-old.
Location: Poured into a Schlafly snifter style pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL
Numbers: 9% ABV, ~320 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s reddish-amber in color, and pretty clear, although there was a fair amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. The head is a thin layer of creamy, cream colored bubbles, mixed with some soapy suds. The aroma is a mix of earthy-piney hops.
Taste & Feel: The body is solid and the mouthfeel is smooth and a bit oily. The flavor up front is a pretty sweet maltiness that’s got a little bit of caramel and light toffee flavor to it. In the middle, a spicy-earthy hop flavor comes, and is joined by some pineyness as it continues into the finish. The finish is a mix of piney-spicey bitterness and hop flavor with a solid malty backbone. The hop flavored and bitterness last for a minute or so in the aftertaste, along with a light alcohol warming sensation.
Food Pairing: Despite the fact that it’s an imperial IPA, it had a good amount of maltiness to it. Therefore, I’d pair this beer with a thick cheeseburger – to complement the maltiness and let the cheese contrast the hop bitterness.
Overall Impression: I really enjoyed the solid malt backbone of this beer, which gave it a great body and mouthfeel. The hops added a good amount of bitterness, but the hop flavor was probably a bit muted since it was a year old. I always love the slight alcohol warming sensation that big beers like this one provide. Overall, I thought it was a very good beer, and I’m going to have to bring back more of their beers the next time we head to Michigan.