Boneshaker IPA Amsterdam Brewing

Boneshaker IPA Amsterdam Brewing Company

Tasting: August 19, 2013
Style: IPA
Beer #: 486

(c) 2013 Boneshaker IPA

(c) 2013 Boneshaker IPA

As an end of summer excursion, my family and I traveled to Niagara Falls for a few days. Instead of bringing beer with me, I decided to check out the local craft beer offerings at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) location a few blocks from the hotel. Most of the beer on the “craft beer wall” was new to me – and that put me in a rare and unfamiliar spot – what do I buy? I would hate to get home and read that I passed up the “must have beer” of Ontario.

A couple of guys were exchanging commentary on several of the beers so, they seemed to be the perfect source for information. When I asked, one man quickly declared the other an expert. I described myself as a hop-head and showed him the can I was holding and pointed out that it was 7.7% ABV and that it was a few ticks higher than any of the other IPA on the shelves. His response was priceless – “Well, that one would certainly get you drunk quick if that’s what you’re after.” and with that he dismissed me. I really think he thought I was going to get myself a brown bag and just lay down in the gutter for the evening. It’s possible that he’s never heard of someone called a hop-head and thought I said pot head.

With my “help” wandering away – I went back to the basics. Pick a style I like imperial IPA and imperial stout. Surprisingly, there were no stouts – so that narrowed my choice. Next, I sought out the higher ABV offering as higher ABV usually equals more base ingredients and should equal rich mouth feel. If that leaves me too many choices – I do what I when I bet on horses – pick one with a cool name (like, Fifty Shades of Hay). In this case – Boneshaker, Dead Elephants and Barking Squirrel (available in NJ) fit the bill.

(c) 2013 popsonhops

(c) 2013 popsonhops

I left the store without the brown bag, hoofed it to the hotel and as you can see I chilled a couple Boneshaker IPAs and chilled enjoying the view.

As for the aforementioned vitals – Boneshaker has a 65 IBU and a respectable 7.1% ABV. Most of what I saw on the shelves was 4.5% – 5.5%, so the odd 7% + was a must try. Pours a cloudy reddish brown. Unfiltered. Herbal flavors up front – black tea, black pepper then a wisp of sweet roasted caramel. Bitterness is a bit too much out in front and it comes up short in the way of a malt backbone. Bitter finish lingers and it belies its moderate IBU. I’ll put this at 85 points.

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