Sunday, March 21, 2010

264. Midnight Sun CoHoHo Imperial IPA

Back in the day when I was a teenager, before I had status and before I had a pager...Oh wait, that was something else. This beer here is our second beer from Midnight Sun—the last one being Sockeye Red IPA. I’m sensing some sort of theme with the whole salmon thing they got going on.

CoHoHo has a heavy caramel malt nose with a slight sappy or piney quality; the color is a reddish copper with a creamy ivory head that sticks around and laces the glass. The beer opens with a sweet thick caramel malt that is mixed with some slight spiciness; the middle has brown sugar sweetness and bitterness from the hops, while the finish is piney—either from the juniper or the hops—as well as dry and slightly harsh, but with a good amount of residual sweetness—the finish is not very clean. The body is medium, but a bit sticky on the palate. While the head retention is good, the carbonation is medium to low; as Elli observes, any carbonation is “fighting an uphill battle against this beer.” I think she is referring to the stickiness and residual sweetness, which does give CoHoHo a heavier presence on the palate than it actually has. While CoHoHo has potential, there is not quite enough pay off in the flavor in regards to the thickness of the body. We may need to drink this in more appropriate weather—it is described as warding off winter woes on the label—but we’re not sure the temperature would improve our ability to enjoy CoHoHo, and we’re pretty certain we’re not trekking to Alaska in the middle of winter to try it there. We do (or at least I do) like the label—the crazy coho salmon with a Santa hat and psychedelic eyes is totally awesome. We’re (or at least I am) making this one a Top 10 Best Label contender.

From the label: “CoHoHo Imperial IPA is a true American Double India Pale Ale, designed & crafted to ward off those way North winter woes. While exuberant hops add punch to an abundant malt base, bonus ingredients—like brown sugar, hoeny and juniper berries—boost character, complexity and holiday spirit. Make merry all winter long!”

From the Midnight Sun website: “When the loveable ‘hopheads’ at Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse requested a winter version of alehouse favorite Sockeye Red IPA, our brewers instinctively spawned CoHoHo Imperial IPA. CoHoHo begins with generous measures of pale two-row and specialty malts along with spirit-boosters like brown sugar and honey. Hefty doses of Cascade, Centennial and Simcoe hops beautifully balance that outrageous malt bill while juniper berries heighten the festive character of this exuberant beer. Make Merry all Winter Long...”

ABV: 8.0%
IBU: 85
Malt: Pale 2-row, Various Special Malts
Hops: Cascade, Centennial, & Simcoe
Other: Brown Sugar, Maple Syrup, Honey, & Juniper Berries


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