Tuesday, June 1, 2010

336. Russian River Blind Pig IPA

This marks our first beer from Russian River Brewing Company, which, if you’re reading this blog, should not really need an introduction. In the off chance that you do, I’ll just let you let your fingers do the walking. And no, I don’t mean the Yellow Pages...

Blind Pig IPA sits a clear golden copper in the glass with a brilliant creamy white head; the nose is redolent of piney, floral, and herbal hops with a bright enjoyable character to the aroma. Beginning with small amounts of grainy and biscuit malt, Blind Pig quickly moves into a spicy and bitter hop middle; there is a lot of hop presence, but not as much distinct hop flavor, although there are spicy, piney, and grassy flavors dancing around. The beer concludes with a fair amount of lingering bitterness, along with a touch of both grassiness and spiciness. The beer has a medium body as well as medium carbonation, although the carbonation is restrained and appears to have less effect on the overall profile. There is a bit of puckering and slight tang from the hops in the mouthfeel, but mostly in a way that accentuates the beer. Overall, an excellent and enjoyable beer; the hop flavors were fresh and popping on the palate, and the balance between malt and hops, while leaning towards the hop side, was well executed. Delicious and delightful, and distinctly drinkable, Blind Pig gives new insight into what an IPA can be.

From the bottle: “Ask for a ‘blind pig’ in a saloon during prohibition and you might just get a beer... During prohibition, using the term ‘blind pig’ discretely meant many different things. Sometimes it was the secret code given to a bartender to receive a beer. In other places, it meant that you paid a small fee to see a ‘blind pig,’ and along with the viewing you’d get a beer, or something else... And what type of glassware would a ‘blind pig’ be served in? An unmarked mason jar of course. In those days, a mason jar was known as a pig, and an unmarked mason jar was known as a Blind Pig. Use the term discretely today and you’ll get Russian River’s Blind Pig IPA, a bold IPA packed full of hop aroma, flavor, and bitterness. Please keep Blind Pig IPA refrigerated and consume fresh to experience the immense hop character. Unlike many of our other beers, Blind Pig is not meant to be aged.”

From the Russian River website: “Blind Pig IPA: Blind Pig IPA was originally brewed by Vinnie at Blind Pig Brewing Co. in Temecula CA. Inspired by the original Blind Pig IPA, this beer is loaded with hop character but only has 6.0% ABV.”

ABV: 6.1%
IBU: 72
OG: 1.060
Bottled on: 4/16/10


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