I’ve went on and one about my love for New Belgium and their Lips of Faith series, so I’ll refrain from beating that horse again. What I will talk about his the folks over at Alpine Beer Company. For the past couple years their IPAs have been garnering quite a bit of attention from the craft beer world. However, with all that hoopla surrounding them I had never tried one of their beers. Until now.
SUPER INDIA PALE ALE is a collaborative effort from Colorado’s New Belgium Brewery and California’s Alpine Beer Company. This Imperial IPA has a hefty 9% ABV.
The Alpine Beer Co. and New Belgium have come together for the love of IPAs. This collaboration is hop-wonderful with Amarillo, Columbus, Simcoe and Centennial hops, bringing the bitter all the way to the front. A nice balance Is present with Pale, C-80 and Carapils malts, but the tropical and citrus tones of the American hops dominate. This Super IPA pours a sheened copper and carries a bright, white head. Consider yourself a hero for getting an Alpine beer outside of San Diego.
Like any good DIPA, Super India Pale Ale poured a beautiful golden orange/copper color. The head is a fluffy cream color with bubbles floating through the beer. Lacing splashed the side of the glass with rings that bled into waxlike formations. The aforementioned bubbles left patterns like a well-tended honeycomb.
The description calls for fruity tones and boy do they appear in the nose. Pineapple and mango were at the forefront, with a touch of pine floating in the background to keep things interesting. As it opens up the mango starts to dissipate, allowing the pine and grapefruit to blend together. A sweet malt background is present that reminded me of an elephant ear, but doesn’t necessarily smell exactly like one (if that makes any sense at all).
The taste is all about the hops. It starts with a blast of piney hops, with hints of mango briefly appearing alongside some sugary dough-like malts. Another big blast of dry piney hops finish things off. The alcohol is noticeable, but it could easily be mistaken for the hop juice that is attempting to eat away at the enamel of my teeth.
Mouthfeel is light, but the hop juice can be felt the entire time you’re drinking. As it goes down it begins to evaporate, which allows the hop flavors to come forward.
Super is a good way to describe how hoppy this beer is. It really tries to hurt you with the few sips, but as it warms/mellows it becomes more drinkable and less like an assault on your taste buds. I wonder what this would taste like after some aging…or better yet some aging in an oak barrel! I think on onto something here.
Overall: 7 out of 10
As an IMPERIAL IPA: 6.5 out of 10
FOR FANS OF: Moylan’s HOPSICKLE, Stone RUINATION TENTH ANNIVERSARY, Surly ABRASIVE ALE