Saturday, May 29, 2010

333b. BridgePort Hop Czar

Our third beer from BridgePort; the last two were Hop Harvest and their IPA. As the label informs us, “This robust golden monarch requires a king’s ransom of hops.” However, none of them seem to have been used in the last five minutes of the boil—it’s all bittering hops with this one, which seems the most irresponsible part of their irresponsible hop usage.

Hop Czar pours a crystal clear copper (I can read these words on the screen through the glass—it’s that crystal clear) with a minimal ivory head and a bready malt and spicy hop nose accompanied by grassy hints. The front is a dry biscuit malt that quickly moves into bitterness along with some grassy and slightly medicinal and/or metallic flavors. Hop Czar finishes dry and lightly paper-y with some slight return of malt sweetness and much more of the lingering bitterness. There is a fair amount of drying and tongue curling on the palate, along with some grassy astringency. While the carbonation is rather low, the bitterness does help dry the beer out. Hop Czar has a solid malt profile and good bitterness; it could use more in the way of flavor and aroma hops, since without them the Hop Czar seems a little too one dimensional—Hop Czar is interesting, but the lack of larger payoff comes from this being more British than American in the hop profile.

From the bottle: “Hop Czar is brewed with an irresponsible amount of hops and balanced by a robust malt backbone. Bridgeport revolutionized the IPA style and this Imperial India Pale Ale is a worthy bloodline to our award winning heritage.”

From the Bridgeport website: “BridgePort Hop Czar, an Imperial IPA brewed from our award winning IPA recipe, first introduced to rave reviews in 2008. It is a triple-hopped bottle-conditioned, Imperial-style IPA that carries a deep malt background with enthusiastic citrus and floral notes paired with high hop bitterness. The newest in our permenant 6-pack line, the Hop Czar recipe blends copious amounts of Nugget, Chinook, Cascade and Centennial hops. ”

ABV: 7.5%
IBU: 87

As today was my last day in San Francisco, Bill and I took our usual walk up to Coit Hill to see the view, and then down through Washington Park to visit the Rogue Brewpub, and their delighful on tap list. I got to have Rogue John John Juniper on tap, and also New Belgium Lips of Faith Eric’s Ale. We then went out with my friend Scott for a nice South Indian dinner. Ah, San Francisco...


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