Friday, December 6, 2013

Blacklist Spruce Tipped Imperial IPA Review

Name: Blacklist Spruce Tipped Imperial India Pale Ale
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 9.5%

Today I have another beer from Duluth's very own Blacklist Brewing, and this time it's their Spruce Tipped Imperial IPA. I'll admit that that I was sold solely on the fact it's an Imperial IPA with Spruce in it, though they aren't the first Minnesota Brewery to do a strong spruced beer as that honor goes to Olvalde Brewing with their Ode to a Russian Shipwright.

This time around, I didn't make the same mistake of using my hands in an attempt to open this up. Instead I used a corkscrew and after about 20 seconds, it popped off. So when you have this have a corkscrew handy, I mean it...

Spruce Tipped pours a very hazy dark orange color. The head is pretty creamy & filmy in appearance which leaves behind no lacing and there also isn't any visible carbonation here.

The nose is pretty citrusy and sprucey upfront, with caramel malts, oak, and raisin/dark fruity notes. Both citrus and spruce notes in particular are both equally strong and almost overshadow everything else.

The flavor is a bit more caramel malt forward with citrus/piney hops, spruce, oak and rum raisins. Not too different from the flavor except with more of a malty backbone. If I could sum up the flavor in one way, it would be that it tastes like Christmas.

The body is fairly moderate in weight but feels pretty thick at the same time. The carbonation is also very mild and creamy, so it's pretty easy to drink for an Imperial IPA.

It's a different take on the Imperial IPA style and I think Blacklist has pulled it off rather well. It's more of an "off-the-beaten-path" style of beer so it isn't for everyone. However those looking for something a little different yet tasty will find this to be an enjoyable beer.

Blacklist Spruce Tipped Imperial IPA - 9/10

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