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Leapbeer Review #166 Imperial IPA by Garrison Brewing Company

Today, I sample from the other side of the country for my beer. I went with the Garrison Imperial IPA today. I picked this from Cascade Liquor store in Victoria. Thanks again to Bryan for your help and supporting the blog.

This is the 2nd product of Garrison’s on the blog, or is it the first. They were included in the process to make the Baltic Porter with Phillips that I had in the beginning of the process. Maybe it’d be easier to say that this is the first wholely Garrison product in the blog. It is their award winning Imperial IPA. There’s a little chart beside the information on their website ( http://www.garrisonbrewing.com/beer.html ) of all the awards it has won. But you can notice below that it’s won Canadian Beer of the year 2 years in a row for 2007 and 2008.

This beer is an unfiltered and super hopped, strong and bitter India Pale Ale. This beer hits 81 on the IBU’s so I expected a nice hit of bitterness from it. And the site says it has a blend of 3 different hops variants, Cascade, Amarillo and Gr. Magnum. Before I even opened the bottle I had high hopes for this beer.

I cracked the bottle and gave it a pour in my trusty pint glass. This beer pours to a deep and cloudy amber with a nice head on it. I get a real smells of sweetness and malt. I was surprised not to get a hoppiness smell to it. When I sipped this it lived up to some of the billing, being a super bitter ipa. You get a real wash of bitters from this beer though, not a blend of the hops. It isn’t a bad IIPA, but to me it seems very one note. They assembled a lovely band of players, but turned up their instruments to 11 and the music is just a wash of distorted noise. It advertises a ‘Robust malt body”, but it is almost entirely eclipsed by the bitterness. After you sip it the malts come in late. It was almost an unwelcome element for me, kind of like a bagpiper stepping up 3 blocks behind an overblown marching band. While I didn’t care for this beer too much I wouldn’t say it was all that bad. It’s just not my favorite IIPA. Even so, I do plan to grab another one when I get a chance to try it a second time, just to make sure I wasn’t wrong the first time. Hopefully I can get another one if Cascadia hasn’t sold out.

Leapbeer #166 is the Imperial India Pale Ale by Garrison Brewing Co. of Halifax Nova Scotia

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