Sunday, January 4, 2015

Gilgamesh Brewing Company - Mega Monster Imperial IPA

There's a monster in my mouth...
Perusing the interwebs the other day, I ran across another lame article about beer. Wow, there are a lot of those--many of which you'll find right here at Beer Guy PDX! (This is my 500th blog post! Big deal.) That other article was all about how the alleged excessive use of hops as a flavoring and bittering ingredient is ruining beer for people who don't like hoppy beer...oh, wah, wah! What a bunch of crybabies!

Of course, the entire premise of the article was flawed. The truth of the matter is that big hoppy craft beers are indeed insanely popular. The India Pale Ale is the most popular style of craft beer. People love the stuff! Seriously, if folks didn't love hoppy beers so much, there wouldn't be an ever-increasing shortage of hops every year. Nevertheless, there are PLENTY of non-hoppy craft brews out there for those with wimpy, wussy palates. There are even quite a few of those that I LOVE.

Today, I'm reviewing a HOP MONSTER. These beers are typically Imperial IPA's that are so chock-full of lupulin (the active ingredient in hops that provides the pucker power) that only the most ardent and hardcore hopheads can drink them. Gilgamesh Brewing Company's Mega Monster Imperial IPA is one such beer. It comes with an ABV of 9.8% and IBU's (International Bittering Units) listed as the symbol for 'infinity" on the label, That's a pretty big claim. Let's see if it's true, shall we?

The beer poured into my glass a deep, reddish, amber color with a tan head. The head rose up to almost two fingers thick and dissipated slowly. Creamy chunks of spotty lacing were left behind.

Aroma was indistinct citrus with some interesting cocoa and burnt caramel notes in the background. Hints of pine and some herbal notes. A tinge of an astringent, alcohol aroma lurked in the background, too.

Taste was sweet, earthy, malt flavor right up front, immediately followed by a big, bitter hops punch. Honestly, this stuff would be way too brutal for any hops novice. A real hophead would probably say it's not the most hardcore hops experience they've ever had, myself included. That's a good thing, because once the initial hop attack was over, and the beer settled down on my palate, I got a very pleasant flavor explosion of grapefruit, pine and chocolate caramel. Nice!

Medium to full mouthfeel. Appropriately lower carbonation. A little bit sticky and chewy at the finish, but reasonably easy to drink--if you like hops.

Overall, this beer delivers exactly as advertised. It's an advanced-placement brew for hops over-achievers. If you like light, grassy, straw-flavored beer, this is NOT the one for you. If you like to take your taste buds on hardcore flavor adventures, Mega Monster should be right up your alley. I'm giving this beer a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4. 1/2 a can is for pure audacity and the cool label art. Mega Monster gets a Droolie, too. One whiff of this beer set Merry the Wonder Beagle into a fit of reverse sneezing that went on for 15 minutes. I've never seen that happen before!

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