Wandering the aisles of my local supermarket in search of inspiration for Mother’s Day dinner, I was distracted for a happy half-hour by the extensive and extravegant selection of ales on offer. Hard to make a decision… so, throwing caution to the winds, I dropped a bunch of bottles into my cart. And what a fine decision that was – for after a particularly crappy Saturday, this was exactly the pick-me-up the doctor ordered.
Brewed by the Anderson Valley Brewing Company out of Boonville, CA (another spot I need to put on the map for my summer road-trip), this Imperial IPA pours a golden, glorious sunset-orange pint (and more) that calls out to be drunk in a happy, sunny sitting. With a fantastically bright, sharp and citrus aroma, it fills you with a hoppy bitter hope for the future and a sense of well-being that only the cheekiest pint can provide.
Good times in a big brown bottle. As the first glass slides down, my attention turns to the label which like the psychedelic record sleeves of my misbegotten youth rewards deep contemplation. Bears with antlers, anyone?
The second glass lasts a little longer than the first; a little warmer and seemingly more lively now it’s had a chance to breathe, the sweeter malts and depth come forward and make for a mellow finish to the bottle. Or maybe that’s just down to the fact it’s got some decent legs in the alcohol department.
Fruit, hoppy, big and bouncy – this is a fine and daring ale that’ll hit you round the head with a mouthful of hops and fruit. It left me wanting more than I know is good for me, and it’s really no wonder there’s a hop shortage at the moment, given what’s in here… amazing stuff.
About the only downside is the pretty hefty price – $5.99 at Whole Foods Market… gotta be cheaper elsewhere, though. So, if you see a bottle on the shelf, take it down, take it home, and make a new friend. Take two. Go out and do it now.
JBB6 Rating: For the Win
As we knew would happen from time to time, Po and I have overlapped in our tasting. So… here is what I would like to add to this wonderful brew’s review:
I may have a new favorite brewery… at least for the time being. Tonight’s special beer was the Anderson Valley Imperial IPA. From the website:
“Also commemorating this special occasion, Anderson Valley Brewing Company will release their 20th Anniversary Imperial India Pale Ale (IPA) on February 2. This special brew, with its intense and complex flavors, is the proud result of decades of great beer-making, and comes in bottles and cases printed with a unique, colorful sunrise label. The 20th Anniversary Imperial Pale Ale is a limited edition brew and high demand is expected.”
I will be posting a potential Hall of Fame from these folks in the very near future, so I thought I would try something else from them. This was picked up at Whole Foods in Bellevue the other day.
This anniversary IPA is probably one of the hoppiest and maltiest beers I have ever tasted. I mean we have major pucker factor on this bad boy and it suits it well. At 8%+ ABV, it packs a punch and doesn’t say its sorry, either. With a clean finish, though, and an overall crisp taste, this solar powered beer is good to go!
JBB6 Rating: For the Win