Saturday, August 18

Beer Review: Southern Oregon Brewing Big Rack Imperial IPA

I don't have a lot of information on this brew other than the fact that I saw it, and bought it tonight. My favorite beer from this brewer to date is a barrel aged barleywine which has been hard to find ever since I had it some years ago. Let's give this Big Rack a snuggle...

Appearance: (3.0)
- Pours a very dark molasses brown and is rather clear. It's pretty darn dark for a pale. I think a pale usually means it's pale in color. It has a nice finger of off-white head and settles to a thin layer covering most all of the beer, and leaves a nice bit of lace and ring in the glass. Dark though..

Smell: (3.0)
- To me this must be an English style brew. The aroma is light, masked, and really consists of some bready and wheat-like malts. I get a lot of aromas that are much like a German dark malt as well. The hops are not really in the ticket as far as aroma other than maybe some bitter grassy earth. Interesting.

Taste: (3.5)
- Sweet bready dark malts with a flare of esters and tobacco. It's actually rather darn tasty, but to call this an imperial IPA is blasphemy. It's high in esters, fruit notes, and a bitter grassy hop. It's the farthest thing from a west coast style IPA, but more a German or English malt forward representation. It's good, solid, and a nice international strong ale. Brewed here of course...

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- It creates a nice full body with a chewy and cloying feel. Overall the bittering hops do dry it up a bit, and truly balances the sweet stickiness that could exist. The flavors left behind of the malts are very nice, and there is nothing to say this beer doesn't feel very good.

Overall: (3.5)
- If they called this beer an imperial ESB, it would have achieved a much higher score. I was expecting an IPA, and got a nice strong bitter malt-forward ale which does in fact have a wonderful flavor, it is clean, and drinks very well. I like to judge on style though. If an imperial ESB or strong ale, this might just get a near 4/5 from me. But as a double IPA?

3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
( Rating Scale)

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