As you may have read in my previous review of the Black Diamond Brewery Rampage Imperial IPA, I was a bit disappointed in the lack of hoppiness and malt for what was called an Imperial, or in other words, a “double IPA”. Since I have been on a big beer kick lately (that is, beers sold in 22oz bottles) I also picked up this son of a bitch. To be quite honest, I had left this one on the fence to try because my work week needed the utmost attention. And with a beer called the Denogginizer, weighing in at a liver-bruising 9.75% abv, I needed a very lazy Sunday.
And glad I did. Sundays are usually reserved for big dinners and laying around. Which, is this IIPA’s raison d’etre. I say big meal because when I popped the cap off of this badboy, there were like a million scents and smells that corrupted my entire olfactory system. (Speaking of “olfactory”, Drake’s distills their beer in an old factory, literally. The old Caterpillar factory in San Leandro, CA. Yuk yuk). The tastes I would get would only exaggerate my senses.
As I poured this big feller into the Sally Jar (that is, a mason jar given to me by Sally Kuchar, which I do ALL of my beer testing with), immediately I saw how dark and malty the head was. I got…EXCITED. Having an IIPA at 90 IBUs (that is, the measurement for hoppiness) its a pretty good indication that I was to get what i predicted. Strong citrus tastes, grapefruitiness, and just the perfect mount of TANG from the FOUR (count them, four) different varieties of hops used; Simcoe, Columbus, Cascade and Amarillo. What I did not predict, however, was the super malty balance to the hoppiness. I think maybe it was a bit too malty, as their use of the Crystal and Munich malts went a really long way. I expect my IPAs and IIPAs to be flavorful, but a little refreshing, but this malt-heavy brain flasher tastes like no other IIPA Ive ever had. Im not turned off in the least, its just completely different than what Im used to.
This, Black Diamond Brewery, is what an Imperial IPA is. Take notes. A flavor that punches you in the sense and jars your brain into a new world of mouth sensations. Dare I say, it DENOGGINIZES you.
My score is 93 out of 100.