Tasting: November 13, 2011
Style: Imperial IPA
I just returned a short time ago from a weekend in Pennsylvania. As usual, I made a stop at one of my favorite beer places – Cold Spring Beverage in Yardley. One drawback to buying beer there is that you have to buy beer by the case — but they do sell some labels that aren’t available in New Jersey. I returned with a case of Great Lakes Nosferatu (review to come). Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t as if New Jersey is a barren craft beer wasteland. It’s quite the contrary. While I was there, I was raving about Utah brewer – Epic Brewing and their “exponential” line to the beer guru at Cold Spring — and for a second — there was some envy on his part. If you live in New Jersey, you should be appreciative of the selection available and if you go to any decent beer store like: Gary’s of Wayne; Wine & Beverage Depot in Totowa or Stew Leonards of Paramus/Clifton – you should be able to find some Epic beer.
Onto my own Epic beer – This time it’s one from what I’ve been calling their second tier — “Elevated” line. This is batch “number 27” of this imperial IPA. As mentioned in other Epic Exponential or Elevated reviews — they tweak the recipe with each progressive release. The changes from batch “number 26” include the addition of a hopback and more calypso hops. Hopback is a process in which hot wort (cooked beer before cooling and the addition of yeast) passes through a chamber filled with hops before it moves to the chiller. The process basically locks in the hop aroma in the beer. Some prefer this to dry or wet hopping as the addition of hops to hot wort will cause the loss of hop aroma.
I’ll say the hopback worked as you can certainly get a pungent hop aroma without much of an effort. Ruby tinted amber brew has an off-white head that lingers on a little while. This is really an interesting and tasty brew. Sweet candied fruit with a solid grapefruit hop finish layered over pears. Lip-smacking and sticky good beer. Medium bodied. Very nice balance at work here and I can say that its another winner from Epic — 91 points.