I have had some stuff before out of Knee Deep Brewing Co. that was in limited release that knocked my socks off. I am extemely excited to try this freshly bottled year-round release from them.
Appearance: Flows out lively and amber/brassy, but still golden. The bubbles rise quickly but settle to about a 1/3 inch head on top with a lot of action rising from the bottom of the glass.
Nose: Banana and pine along with orange blossom and citrus. I also get grapefruit and a touch of garlic and grass.
Taste: More bitter than anything. It has a nice floral finish with a bit of citrus rind but most of the bitterness is just so forward that it's hard to get any of the nuance that you got from the nose. This is dominated by the hops. It is saved by a malt backbone with a bit of alcohol flavor that makes it a bit sweet and interesting.
Mouthfeel: Very chalky and sappy. This will make you want a glass of water or some pickled vegetables to wash it down. Bulky and almost chewy. Medium to heavy bodied.
Overall: This is like what a ghost pepper sauce is to a spice fanatic. If you like hops and you can challenge yourself to love good bitterness (102 IBU) that is nearly palate numbing, then this is for you. It almost reminds me of Ruination by Stone but a little more refined. The nose is beautiful and leaves you wanting more. However, this is more of a craft drinkers palate-wrecker than anything. I myself will personally enjoy it while bumping some gangster rap mixed with some 80s punk. The only other pairing I can think of (besides the IPA usual of spicy food) is another hoppy beer or imperial stout because you will notice other nuance when trying different beers after getting so elegantly hopped-out! You might not want to have anything else though since this is at 9% ABV. Put some jalapenos on your nachos today if you decide to pick this one up and give your keys to a close friend or lock them in a drawer.
This is artful and beautiful because of the ingredients but honestly does not hit the mark in the taste department. I think of it as having some value in this regard but lacks what you would expect from something with such amazing ingredients. The DIPA fanatic might enjoy but the connoisseur would detest. The taste is so unbridled that it almost makes me not want to finish my glass at it approaches room temperature, almost.
Hoptologist DIPA / Double IPA / 9.00% ABV / Knee Deep Brewing Co.
Final Score: 8.6/10