Friday, September 27, 2013

Mikkeller 1000 IBU Review

Name: Mikkeller 1000 IBU
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 9.6%

Ever seen a beer that seems so out there, that when you look at it you think to yourself "It could be very bad but I want to try this anyway?" Well this is one of these beers. While I was at a store over in Superior, I was talking with one of the employees about IPAs in general when he came across this oddity from Mikkeller Brewing, whose operations are based out of Denmark but this was brewed at Proefbrouwerij in Belgium, which is a facility dedicated solely for third parties to brew their own beer

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that it wasn't the cat burglar on the front that drew my attention to the beer but the "1000 IBU" on the front in bold font; Almost like it was trying to scream it at me. In case you didn't know, IBU stands for International Bittering Unit, which is a scale that determines how bitter it. Up until having this, the beer with the highest IBU that I had ever had was Flat Earth's Northwest Passage.

1000 IBU pours an extremely hazy dark orange color with a foamy head which has excellent retention. The lacing, of course, is also fairly abundant. Looking at the sediment at the bottom of the glass, I can also see that this is an unfiltered beer. Carbonation activity is also fairly calm.

The nose is very citrus & piney hop forward with some caramelized malt notes. I wish I could say more about the aroma but this is literally all I was able to come up with because the hops overpower the other aspects of the nose with the exception of the caramel malt notes.

When I took my first sip, I was greeted by a very malty-caramel sweetness and even a bit of toffee flavor. It was quite pleasant and for a moment I thought to myself "Say, this isn't so bad!" 

Then it hits you. The piney hop bitterness literally comes out of nowhere and hits the palate with such intensity that it is completely overwhelming. The aftertaste is a lingering bitter hop resiny flavor. It's like walking in a rainstorm and getting hit by wind-swept rain, then all of a sudden golf ball-sized hail starts falling at the same consistency as the rain and mercilessly pelts you as you try to run for cover; It's kind of like that.

The body is quite thick & heavy and the carbonation is on the moderate side, which adds more intensity to what is already an intense beer.

I have a sneaking suspicion that 1000 IBU was created for the sole purpose of seeing how hoppy/bitter one could make a beer, almost like an experiment. If that was the case then it was a resounding success.

With all this in mind, I declare this to be a novelty beer. It's hoppy, malty and there is no booziness to speak of. It also accomplished what it was trying to achieve which was create a bitter/resiny beer. I'd normally say that it should tone down the bitterness but then I realized that would defeat the entire purpose of this beer existing. All and all, this beer is a prime example of "Just because you can doesn't mean you should."

Mikkeller 1000 IBU - 6/10

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