Friday, July 22

Beer Review: 21st Amendment Hop Crisis Imperial IPA

I first tried this beer shortly before the Cans Fest at By The Bottle on tap and thought it was a pretty darn good beer. I have had a few from San Fransisco's 21st Amendment Brewery and they always seemed to fall a little short for me. I like their ideas, and attitude in the industry, and have enjoyed seeing them push the envelope where others haven't. Many may not realize that they were a few of the first to start canning a decent selection of their beer. I bought a 4-pack of cans for about $11. I have seen them under $10. Either way, that is a pretty good price point for 48 oz. of imperial IPA. That's roughly $5 a bomber. Plus, it is in an aluminum can that can't be light struck, and keeps the beer more fresh overall. This beer ranks in at an all mighty 9.7% Alc. by Vol. This regular brew is also aged in oak. Yes, a canned imperial IPA aged in oak for roughly $5 a bomber. 94 IBU's.


"Hop Crisis. Crisis? What Crisis? A few years ago, when hop prices shot through the roof and the worldwide hop market went into a tailspin, at our pub in San Francisco we decided there was only one thing for us to do. We made the biggest, hoppiest IPA we could imagine and aged it on oak for good measure. This Imperial IPA breaks all the rules with more malt, more hops and more aroma."


Appearance: (4.0)
- Pours a dark clear golden yellow and bright copper. Big fluffy white head with large bubbles popping all over the place. Settles to a light bubbly light froth leaving lace all about. A rather sparkling ale with big bubbles hitting the surface hard.

Smell: (3.5)
- Big roasty caramel malts. Sweet sugars, biscuit, and creamy brown sugar. Hops are massive in the nose. Big fruity citrus, grassy, and earthy hops. Smells like laying down in a frying pan full of melting caramel with a fresh sticky hop field all about. Not too bad, but smells a bit malt-forward for me. Perhaps a little woody character.

Taste: (3.5)
- The beer is balanced. Earthy fruity oakey caramel malts without being too sugary sweet. Seems well balanced among a fresh dry-hopped bitter grassy hop blast. Very grassy and earthy. Hops really shine, and the malt doesn't taste as strong as it smells. Slight oakey, and phenolic background.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- This is where this beer is interesting. It is a touch watery, and rather thin bodied. It's bubbly, light, and doesn't really hit big with thick malts and cloying chewiness. It makes me think that perhaps a lot of grain wasn't used, but more adjunct.

Overall: (4.0)
- This beer grabs every angle and takes it. It's a great offering in a can, it is loaded with hops for the hop lover.. adds a flare of oak aging, and is rather light bodied. I am thinking this could be very dangerous pulling out of an ice cold cooler while not really knowing its might. It's something I would buy again just for a big hop bomb with some strength. It really isn't that hot of a beer.

B / 3.63

(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

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