Epic Exponential Series Imperial IPA

Tasting: August 5, 2011
Style: Imperial IPA

After last night’s sampling of Epic’s Imperial Red, I’m excited to try this imperial IPA. I want to see if this is brewery is legit or a one-hit wonder. I was reading more about Epic’s Exponential line last night on their website and I love, love, love the concept. They brew the same beer in small batches (1,800 bottles) and they tweak the recipe between batches. So, you really need to try each release to see the evolution. Would make a great vertical tasting. I read that earlier releases had an ABV of 9.5% – the release number 4 in front of me checks in ABV 9.9%. They apparently throttled back on the amount of simcoe hops (12-14% Alpha Acid very bitter), but they also use the big daddies of hops (centennial, chinook and amarillo). Their website says brewed on April 18, 2011. Also from their website, I count sixteen different brands in the exponential series.

This one pours a cloudy orange with rapidly vanishing head. For a supposed big IPA, the nose is somewhat subdued. I do get orange rind/grapefruit. First sip impression is wow. Nice mouthfeel. I was really expecting a hop forward IPA, but this one is a swirling symphony of caramel sweetness, dark fruit, followed by a crescendo of bitter hops that roll in the form of a resiny/sticky grapefruit. The more I work my way through this bomber, the more alcohol I’m picking up — but it’s not intrusive on the overall experience. There is no information on IBU, but I’d be surprised if it exceeded 90. After two variety tastings, I’m officially in love with this brewery and the Exponential line…93 points. I can’t wait to try their Hop Syndrome Lager and certainly need to investigate other varieties.

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