I wanted something a bit unusual for the first review, and a Triple IPA can definitely live up to that claim.
Big Mother comes from a company that not only claims to brew beer of the finest ingredients, but also believes that all craft beer should be made this way. I do too. Now for the first sip..
Appearance: Pale, golden and delicious looking - Big fast bubbles and a soft fresh looking irregular head that lingers only slightly.
Nose: Immediate fresh floral and pine with some sweet apricot - very aromatic and light.
Taste: Big Mother is right - WOW! This one is extremely delicious. It tastes as good as it looks. It has a lot more to it than I could have imagined. Five hops including: Cascade, Centennial, Hallertau Blanc, Motueka, and Falconer's Flight bring so much to the table that the flavors keep going long after your second big gulp. First of all, this is hopped out of control! I would never normally say that, but really, it has everything you would want out of a San Diego Double IPA but then so much more. The cascade hops give it such a backbone that keeps you coming back for more, but the best part are the complexities of citrus fields, verdant clover blossom notes with the freshest of grain shining through. I must say this is a big beer.
Mouthfeel: It's big but it's not going to bring you down. It has some body but not too much. you can taste so much hop flavor, and sometimes beers like this fail at giving it some body, and then some just overload you with roasted malt, alcohol, or a sweetness that you can't even try to have on a hot day. At 10.5 ABV though, I find myself liking it more and more as I write this review, and being genuinely refreshed by a beer that can stand alone. This beer is certainly an exposition of multi-hopped "Anniversary-inspired" creativity that seems to be a trend, and at that it is one of the very best.
Overall: Ultimately, this is a big beer with big big flavor. It's crisp but a bit sweet, and lingers with you as its slight fruity almost white grape plus sour berry notes tickle your senses. The hops really are beautiful, and as I notice with these kind of beers, that you get so many smells and tastes at once you find it hard to enjoy just one. That's where this beer wins with the Cascade coming through. You find yourself sipping and sipping until sensory overload takes over and your favorite song comes on and you just said beer tastes like grapes. Really though, this is a beer for IPA lovers and hop enthusiasts and all others will take a sip and hate it or drink the whole thing and feel like they're on a jungle cruise through hop-phoria.
Either way, for the bang and beauty this 'Big Mother' has, plus the genuine pursuit for great ingredients, I would put this on your "drink now" list.
Final Score: 9.1/10
I would almost call it an American Barley Wine so I give it a benefit of the doubt on the DIPA or as the bottle says Triple India Pale Ale score there.
Food Pairings: You will want to enjoy this with tangy/juicy/spicy. Since it is such a big beer I would suggest southwestern appetizers. A delicious fresh salsa with blue corn chips would be fine. This might not be the best dinner beer since it is so filling. If you were to go there I would stick to things with light fresh tastes such as tomato, garlic, or herbs - grilled salmon and rice pilaf comes to mind. Mmmm garlic fries!
I'm going to go find some more of this!
Christopher "Bipp" Rigali
Big Mother / Triple India Pale Ale / 10.5% ABV / 5th Anniversary release / Mother Earth Brew Co. / Review: 9.1 out of 10