Sunday, March 20, 2016

Heathen Brewing Company - Kevlar IIPA

Ridiculously bulletproof...
Recently, I've been reading a number of articles, in magazines and on the interwebs, heralding the death of that most popular craft beer style and my personal favorite: the India Pale Ale. These pathetic smear pieces whine on and on about those mean ol', bitter hoppy brews that make wimpy beer drinkers cry and hold their delicate, wounded jaws like somebody just made them drink battery acid. 

Wah, wah, wah! What a big bunch of babies! I'm also pretty sure these articles were written by people who really don't like beer--unless it tastes like wine. Don't get me started about wine.

Well, I'm here to tell ya, folks, that while I am thrilled other craft beer styles are getting more attention and making it into more shopping carts, the IPA ain't goin' nowhere! Nowhere except into my always appreciative belly, anyway! Truthfully, nine times out of ten, I'll be found drinking an IPA instead of any other style of beer. I am a self-proclaimed hophead, and proud of it.

Gratefully, I live in the Pacific Northwest, where a huge amount of the world's hops are grown, and where local brewers have an abundant appreciation for...the abundance of hops. 

There are so many fantastic IPA's brewed right here in my own Oregon backyard that I often forget about some of the butt-kickin' breweries just across the river in Washington State. Oh, yeah, my Cascadian brothers and sisters to the north put out some world-class beers and a healthy dose of those are my beloved IPA's. Today, I'm drinking and reviewing one. May I present to you, ladies and gents, Kevlar IIPA from Heathen Brewing Company in beautiful Vancouver, Washington.

This Imperial IPA comes with an ABV of 9.0%, 100 IBU's and was brewed with Amarillo and Columbus Hops. I picked up a bottle from the brewery where they have an amazing number of taps for free tastes and economical growler fills. Heathen also operates their Feral Brew Pub in downtown Vancouver. The pub also has a ridiculous number of taps and some of the best pub grub around. (Get the brussels sprouts appetizer--I know, brussels sprouts, but trust me on this one.)

Kevlar IIPA poured from bomber into my IPA glass a slightly cloudy, golden orange color with a bright white, foamy, creamy head. That head dissipated slowly and left behind copious amounts of clumpy foam and lacing. What a beautiful beer. Check out that photo. Almost too pretty to drink...Ha! Who am I kidding? I polished that baby off in five minutes!

Aroma was a citrus hops bomb of orange, tangerine and grapefruit. Hints of resinous pine. Tropical fruit: mango and pineapple. Caramel malt. Some herbaceous, floral notes in the background. A lovely olfactory delight, this one!

Taste followed the nose. Hops bitterness was present and accounted for. Citrus, pine, tropical fruit. Any hops aficionado will appreciate this beer. Sweet, caramel malt balanced well against the bitter hops. A bit of herbal spiciness in there. Quite a medley of complex flavors that I've found in other brews that have masterfully utilized Amarillo hops. Nice!

Medium mouthfeel with appropriate carbonation. Semi-dry finish. No hint of alcohol. This is a surprisingly easy drinker for a 9% IIPA.

Overall, this is my kind of beer. It's like they brewed this seasonal just for me. I would drink this one again and again, I'm awarding a perfect score of 4 crushed cans out of 4 AND the coveted Droolie. Not many beers perk up Merry the Wonder Beagle nowadays, but Kevlar IIPA sure did.

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