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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Beer Sherpa Recommends: Gigantic IPL

Yesterday's post was, I suppose, a bit of a distraction on one point.  Although I used Gigantic's newest beer to illustrate a wholly unrelated point, I didn't much discuss the beer itself.  Now to rectify that oversight.

Very often, you come to understand a beer the less you know about it.  The Green Dragon, where I sampled the Gigantic, has a great taplist that, perversely, gives the drinker zero information beyond a name.  They don't even list the ABV. That leaves you with nothing else but your nose and mouth to figure out what you're drinking. It makes a session a bit more random, but when you find a gem, it also happens to make the experience more rewarding.

When IPL arrived, I was startled at its appearance, which might have passed in a line-up of Blue Ribbons.  It is pale.  Nothing India about that.  But then, lifting it toward my nose, I caught a plume of the aroma, which was very India indeed.  There's a sweet, fruity underlayment and then something that first seems like pine but drifts toward the Alien OG.  The effect of the appearance and aroma produced a kind of dreamlike discontinuity.  The strange pleasures continued as I added my tongue to the mix.  IPL is a very delicate beer, with little wisps of malt and no perceptible alcohol (turns out it 5.6%).  And amazingly, the hop intensity, though sunshiny and resplendent, did not overwhelm the rest of the beer. 

I tried to order another pint but, no shock to me, the keg had blown.  We're stuck in the middle of one terrible long sunny nightmare*, and this was an amazing tonic.  It looked and behaved like a helles, but had the aroma of an IPA and the flavor of a vivid pale ale.  I would have liked to test its durability, but I can say that it performed very well over the course of a pint.  I expect it did just as well over two or three.  Get it while the sun still shines.

*To Portlanders and hairy black dogs, weather over 90 is painful, and we've endured weeks of the stuff.

"Beer Sherpa Recommends" is an irregular feature.  In this fallen world, when the number of beers outnumber your woeful stomach capacity by several orders of magnitude, you risk exposing yourself to substandard beer.  Worse, you risk selecting substandard beer when there are tasty alternatives at hand.  In this terrible jungle of overabundance, wouldn't it be nice to have a neon sign pointing to the few beers among the crowd that really stand out?  A beer sherpa, if you will, to guide you to the beery mountaintop.  I don't profess to drink all the beers out there, but from time to time I stumble across a winner and when I do, I'll pass it along to you.

1 comment:

  1. So glad to see that "durability" and performance "over the course of a pint" are markers in your deliberations - looking forward to trying this beer - thanks.