Friday, August 22, 2008

Back to the Beer!

Well it was a long and less eventful Summer than I anticipated, though there were some really good times, times, times, and times, and would have been more if I wasn't sick for so long. But with rotations starting this last week I'm out all day and still having to study when I get home at night, which means getting to the beer is a little harder. Well, it's been just about a week since the nectar of the greatest beverage ever hit my lips, so tonight when I got home I kicked off the weekend with a Deschutes Hop Henge Imperial IPA which I've been wanting to try since last year. With Deschutes being one of my favorite breweries I try anything from them that I can.

Hop Henge pours a dark amber, almost towards the brownish side, with a spectacular fluffy foam cap on it that displays a ton of retention (that takes some brewing skill, folks). Something about Deschutes' hoppy beers lately have reminded me of Sierra Nevada. They have a hoppiness that is very distinct to me, and while most people would say "big grapefruit" I never get that too much from Sierra Nevada. But anyway, Hop Henge has this resinous hoppiness to it with a big sweet, toasty counterpart. You can't call it a backbone because this maltiness garners just as much attention as the hops do, if not more. However, as much as I usually hate hoppy beers with this sort of balance to them, I actually enjoyed Hop Henge. It was really easy drinking and somehow the sweetness combined well with the sticky, bitter, lingering hops to create something pretty nice. 4/5.

The next beer I tried was the Mikkeller Stateside IPA. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little skeptical that a European brewery could duplicate the world class IPA's I've gotten to know that are brewed in my California back yard. Well, I was right. This IPA had this syrupy caramelized sweetness to it that didn't mesh well with the citrusy and earthy hops. I wouldn't get it again, but I will definitely try their Beer Geek Breakfast in the future. 3.55/5, mostly due to it's appearance which is really nice and has a very amazing fluffy, frothy head to it. The rest of it is average.

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