Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Bent Paddle Hop Forest Review

Name: Bent Paddle Hop Forest
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.9%
IBUs: 100

Alright so before I continue, I have a confession to make: I was honestly planning on doing more reviews this past weekend, but I came down with a rather nasty case of a seasonal allergy cold and my ability to taste things was nullified as a result. Along with my brand new job and Grad School presentations, I haven't been able to update this blog as much as I'd like but I'm back and ready to get things rolling again.

Bent Paddle recently released their first Imperial IPA, aptly named Hop Forest. Unsurprisingly enough, this comes in a 4-pack as opposed to the normal 6-packs which they normally give out. I also don't recall seeing this at the taproom or at their annual festiversary. Since they are mostly known for their mid-level ABV range beers (and that last beer from them I reviewed), I'm curious to see how their first Imperial IPA turns out.

Appearance - Moderately hazy bright orange/yellow with a mild cloudiness. The head is pretty voluminous and foamy with a good amount of lacing left along the sides of the glass.

Aroma - Strong mango & tropical fruitiness with some caramel malts. I'm also getting some hefty grapefruit, cantelope & pineapple notes in here as well. Contrary to what the label says, I'm not getting any piney hops in the nose. In fact, the nose as a whole reminds me of a Pina Coleda.

Taste - Once again, there's some strong mango and tropical fruit notes upfront with some caramel malts and grapefruit & pineapple notes. However, about halfway through, the hop profile goes from being sweet and fruit to piney & bitter in the back with the caramel malts holding throughout. The aftertaste is mainly bitter hops that linger on the back of the palate for quite a while along with a light malt sweetness. There's also a slight boozy heat in here as well but it doesn't get in the way.

One word I'd use to summarize this beer is deceptive.

It starts out very sweet, particularly in the nose and even the front of the palate. However, once you start going further in, that hop bitterness seemingly takes over from there on in, which I think is this beer's biggest strength because it exemplifies a lot of flavors in what initially seems like a one track aim.

Simply put: you need to try this beer out. There's so much going on this beer that it needs to be experienced. I know a good portion of my reader base is outside of Bent Paddle's distribution area so my advice to you would either be visit Minnesota or arrange a beer mail trade in order to try this beer out.

Bent Paddle Hop Forest - 9.5/10

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