If you follow this blog you know that I really do not review or rate beers very often. Beer is a personal thing with me. I like what I like. Still I try to drink enough of the different styles to know what good ones and bad ones taste like, even when I don’t like the particular style all that much. I also seem to have a different palate than your typical beer judge as to what “good” is. And the beer rating services . . . fagetaboutit.
Today I am making an exception. Mainly because I had an exceptional IPA, a style that in 30 years of drinking craft beer I have never found all that impressive. A hop profile that smacks you in the face is not my thing.
I have a friend who is a self-proclaimed IPA expert and I gagged down a couple of her stellar recommendations. I can usually tolerate a taster glass size of a 50 IBU or less IPA. Never a full pint.
Although I have been known to slip a sampler of Bitter Bitch, Hop Diggity or Whoop Pass to an unsuspecting beer mate at a festival or two.
I was not prepared for what I had recently, courtesy of Pyramid Brewing – the Pyramid H7 Imperial IPA – an 80 IBU double IPA boasting the use of seven different hop varieties at various times in the boil and fermenting process. It was so good that I decided I had to tell my readers about it. So I am. It is good. Damn good. So good I drank the whole 22 oz down to the very last drop. It is a beautiful beer with a nice tight foamy head that stays with the beer nearly the whole way down. And as I do with most beers I had it cold from the fridge, let it sit for a bit and warm up and it was delicious either way.
What struck me was the complexity of the aroma and taste sensation. It was as if each of the seven hop styles revealed themselves one by one. And then they were gone. No lingering, clingy hop residue to foul the taste of what you might want next. All this on a solid malty base. The H7 achieves a perfect balance of flavors with its trio of malts: 2-Row Pale, Munich 20 and C-40. Very well integrated.
Here is a snippet of Pyramid’s own description of this beer.
Featuring a blend of Apollo, Chinook, CTZ, Simcoe, Amarillo, El Dorado and Calypso hops, Pyramid’s brewers hopped H7 three times during the boil, once in the whirlpool and twice in fermentation. H7 reveals the compelling spectrum of tastes and smells the mighty hop bestows on fans of craft brewing.
“This is our most popular Brewer’s Reserve beer, and for good reasons,” said Head Brewer Ryan Pappe. “The robust combination of hops makes this brew incredibly unique as it brings together an array of unexpected ingredients. Hop-heads will love the deep flavor profile of H7 throughout spring and summer!”
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