Up to this point I have put Mikkeller in an elite category of beers I’m dying to try but have not, and now this is the second beer they have had a hand in that I’ve reviewed this week. I have had only a few opportunities to pick up beers from them. Basically their beer is most available in this area when they do collaborations. The 3 Floyds post from Wednesday was officially the very first beer I have ever had of theirs, and I was really happy with it in the end. Two Saturdays ago I went to Rick’s, my semi-local beer hunting spot, to pick up a few different beers. They had three different offerings from Mikkeller available on that day. Obviously I picked up this little bottle, but they also had a pilsner and stout available as well. Already having a fairly full basket that day, I knew I couldn’t pick up all three, so I rationalized only buying this bottle. I was done with stouts for the moment, and I have never really been a big fan of pilsners; however, I am looking to perhaps delve into that area of distaste soon. Following my foray into stouts, I have been drinking just about anything with hops in it at the moment; therefore, that made their American Imperial IPA perfect for me.
Looking into a little of the history of Mikkeller is really interesting and inspiring. Evidently Mikkeller is known as a Nomadic brewery. It is the tale of two homebrewers, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and Kristian Klarup Keller, who decided to step their game up to the next level. However, they didn’t find a space and start brewing amazing beers, instead they travel around using other people’s’ facilities to brew. Obviously this is why you see a large amount of collaborations coming out of their line-up. They are known for brewing in Denmark, Norway, Belgium, the UK, and USA. I love the idea of this! Why open your own space when lots of people have perfectly good spaces you can use. Officially they are known as being based out of Denmark, but with over 100 different beers in their line-up, they produce everything everywhere.
I Beat yoU (notice the significance of the capitalization) was actually brewed at Brewdog Brewery in Scotland; however, it doesn’t appear this is a collaboration at all. They just stopped by to brew some beer. It is a their American imperial IPA, which I took to mean it would be just delicious. According to Beer Advocate it is, “Heavily hopped with Herkules, Centennial, Warrior, Amarillo, Simcoe and Columbus. ” Yet another detail that really excited me. Although Mikkeller is somewhat vague about which hops are flavors and aroma, I’m looking into brewing an imperial with my next batch, so I was really excited to see so many hops packed into one bottle. Hopefully it would taste as good as it sounded.
This one pours out a dark auburn color that contains hints of red and orange. There is some moderate head that develops on top of the beer on the pour. It is by no means a huge amount of head, but it is definitely an ample amount of white fluffy goodness. There is some light lacing that forms on the side of the glass, but it really leaves very little sticky residue with it. The beer is really hazy overall, and that manages to make it far too hard to see any carbonation in. I think the ample amount of hops may have helped to cloud this beer up. It is definitely a delicious looking beer.
The beer has an interesting combination of sweet aromas and bitter hops in the smell. The sweetness has a similar honey quality to the Hopslam that I am still enjoying right now, and since I’m still loving the Hopslam, I only got more excited for this one. The hops seem to be combined with a lot of big citrusy grapefruit aromas. The citrus and really dark pine smell are quite ample. Surprisingly the hops don’t seem to smell floral at all.
The taste kicks off with a very slight sweet malty introduction. The sweetness is quickly met by the big kick of hops that come in. The hop flavors remind me of the hop flavors I got out of the Dogfish Head 120. They aren’t very floral, and the pine isn’t very sharp; instead, it seems to have a much stronger tangy quality. Interestingly, the strong sweet honey flavor comes in strong right in the middle. Surprisingly this beer seems to have both Hopslam and 120 qualities to it. It is both sweet and tangy at the same time. The beer finishes with a little more tang from the hops, a lot of big orange citrus flavors, and some really strong booze notes.
There is a lot of carbonation throughout most of this beer. There is a little bit of syrup on the ending and aftertaste that combines with the boozy burn at the end. The tangy hop quality is one that I’m growing quite accustomed to in big hop bomb beers, and I think I may try to find a few more beers with this same flavor. The tangy quality manages to linger quite a while on the end with the booze, which I think is pretty good.
This beer is the first true beer I’ve had from Mikkeller, and I think it’s a great start to a company I’ve been wondering about for a while. Like I said earlier, I feel like it has a similar feel to both Hopslam and 120, which I love. So if you want a really good Imperial IPA, you definitely need to see if you can find this one. You’ll be happy you did!
Teacher Grade: A