Thursday, January 17, 2013

Beer Review: Exp Hop 2012-6

Reviewing the Exp Hop 2012-6 from Bell's Brewery, Inc. out of Kalamazoo, Michigan. This is an "experimental" imperial IPA that can only be found in Bell's Eccentric Cafe (their on-site tap room/bar).
Score: 98

Tap pour served in a taster glass (followed by a full serving in a snifter glass) at Bell's Brewery and enjoyed on 12/28/12. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Unfiltered tangerine color. Served with thin layer of white head. Crazy lacing and retention. The color and appearance scream fresh IPA. 5/5

Smell: Mango, pine, grapefruit and pineapple. Smells like hoppy tropical fruit juice. Hint of lemon 4.5/5

Taste: Super dank grapefruit, mango, and peach. Sweet tropical citrus. Malty "orange juice" backbone. Grassy piney hops add a good amount of bitterness to counterbalance the sweet citrus. Bold and balanced, this beer pushes the extremes of what an IPA can do while remaining easy drinking and non-palate wrecking. Easy drinking; absolutely no booziness whatsoever. I was absolutely stunned to discover this beer is over 10% ABV. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Perfect IPA mouthfeel. Medium bodied, medium-light carbonation. Oily on the tongue with a nice bitter perk from the hops. 5/5

Overall: Unexpected, delicious and bold in flavor. Bell's needs to bottle this one; it's a knock out success. I would easily buy a case or multiple growlers if it was made available "to go." This is one of the best IPA I have had in a long time.

Recommendation: Hop heads should absolutely seek this beer out before it's a long-forgotten one off. If I was not the "designated driver," I would have ordered several pints of this brew.

Pairings: Asian zing BBQ chicken wings.

Cost: $5.75 for a snifter glass that looked slightly larger than 12 oz in size.

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