Friday, February 22, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 53, Sly Fox Odyssey Imperial IPA

Wow!  Floral hop aroma!  It's really a beautiful smell!  And look at that clarity!

Put on your bitter tongue and pack away the malt one and get ready for this wallop!  As IPA's go it's to be expected that it will be hoppy especially because it is considered an Imperial IPA or a Double IPA which is righteously doubled in ingredients and high in alcohol (double the malts too).  According to the can new hops grown every year are used in this brew so each one is different.

This beer is in a can, and well, I have my reasons for liking and not liking cans, but I can't use them for homebrewing so no points there!  Plus, it's a beer that I wouldn't take camping or to a concert in the summer basically because it's a one at a time kind of beer and not a session beer.

The beer pours from a 50 degree can a beautifully clear and pure amber color with a huge 3 finger yellow/white head consisting of multiple sized bubbles that quickly fades to a ring and cap covering the top of the beer.  It has lacing that is both nice and sticks to the glass and looks a little sloppy.

I found the aroma to be both equally malty and florally hoppy with notes of bread.  I think it's a pretty well balanced aroma.  Lovely and aromatic hops.  Beautiful.

As for flavour, I'm finding the bready caramel malt base and the floral hops fairly balanced at the beginning of the sip.  Well, maybe more hoppy than malty, but the hops become massively apparent towards the end leaving you bitter and dry.  I do believe that along with the hops and carbonation that a slight alcohol burn is released.  It's not overly noticeable which is a good accomplishment for an 8.4 ABV beer.

I also find the mouthfeel beneathe the hops to be rather smooth and creamy with moderate carbonation that gives way to a hoppy dry aftertaste that is fairly strong.

The beer is too hoppy for me.  I like it, but I would only have one hoping that my next beer would erase the aftertaste.  I'm not overly familiar with the style and please take my score with a grain of salt.  I found it pretty balanced for being so hoppy except for the finish.  I don't know how it fits into this category, but having had Dogfish Head 90 minute recently and comparing the two, I would have to give DFH higher points.

Hooper scale from 1 to 10 it gets a 7.5.  I would buy this beer again as a starter or with food as I feel this may go really well with a lemon pepper catfish dish or the like.  Lots of potential with a food pairing.

Give it a try, you may find that you like it.  It can't hurt and anything is better than drinking crappy beer, because life is too short for that.


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