Friday, September 3, 2010

409. Jeffrey McElfresh Imperial IPA

While this beer concludes Jeffrey McElfresh Homebrew Drinking Week, I am certain that Jeffrey has many more excellent beers on the horizon. Thank again, Jeffrey, for all of the delicious beer, and for making this week better.

Jeffrey’s Imperial IPA beer pours the color of bourbon—it is a dead ringer when held up next to my bottle of Old Potrero—and is crystal clear. Like really clear. How the hell did you do that, Jeffrey? The head is eggshell (with some lacing), and the nose is hoppy goodness—I get a spicy, pine-y, and resin-y evergreen with citrus and a bit of grassiness in the back. There are probably other softer aromas, but the big fragrance of spicy pine (Simcoe?) overpowers and drowns them out. Flavors start out hoppy, transition into hoppy, and then finish hoppy. OK, not completely, but pretty damn close. There is a touch of malt sweetness in the front that is hidden by some of the slightly herbal hops flavors dancing around in the front; the middle kicks you in the teeth with the bitterness (but in a good way), as well as bringing the pine, resin, and spice hop aroma from the nose into a living presence in your mouth. There is a brief flash of creaminess and sweetness along with a bit of bite from the carbonation in the turn to the finish, which is a long slow run down bitterness lane—it both builds and lingers pleasantly on the back of the throat. The body is medium to heavy with a clean but slightly sharp mouthfeel. There is a decent amount of alcohol warmth in the back of the mouth along with small amounts of hop astringency and grassiness. While the heat is more intrusive than the astringency, the overall beer is still delicious and enjoyable, although I wouldn’t recommend housing it down—there is a slight flush forming on my cheeks as I finish this delicious tidbit. I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that means this beer has a solid punch. I’d like to see what happens to this beer with some age. While the hop complexity might drop out, the lessening of the alcohol warmth and the marrying of the alcohol with the other components would further round the beer. But let’s save the philosophical meanderings, and instead offer mad kudos to Jeffrey for being the brewing dynamo that he is. I’ll make you a deal Jeffrey—you keep brewing, and I’ll gladly keep drinking your beer. That certainly sounds fair, doesn’t it?


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