Respect the Glass Rim Beefcake
A Review of 471 IPA by Breckenridge Brewery
Posted on 7/4/2011 by Chops
This beer shouldn't work. A double IPA wheat blended mishmash. But it does work, in a very big way. 471 IPA is so damn complex that it can't be an accident, which means Breckenridge Brewery specifically set out to make it. They knew what it was supposed to be well beforehand. They thought it was a good idea. They made it. Now I sit here enjoying this fine nectar wondering how their mad scientists (i.e. brewer geniuses) thought this combination up.

471 has a nice deep orange coloration with an opaque haze, much like you would see in a glass of orange juice. It's very inviting and looks relatively easy to drink. But then you go in for that first whiff and almost get knocked off your seat. 471 has a very pungent aroma with a massive odoriferous body. Hops, citrus and spices seem to concentrate themselves around the glass to form a protective aromatic barrier. It's like some tiny beefcake is sitting on the rim of the glass motioning ''come to papa'' with each fist.

That first sip is a doozy, so prepare yourself. The hops are relentless from the get go and the first half of the beer is very aggressive. Oddly enough, there is a constant sweetness undertone, which I assume is coming from the wheat malts. It's an ongoing taste battle in your mouth, which opens up a lot of flavor variations as you swing through extremes. Along with the various hop and citrus notes, the sweetness transition opens up a lot of different spice notes, notably cinnamon and caramelized sugar. The transition back over to bitter opens up bursts of grapefruit and some mineral tastes. And once you think you're finished, you're not. This beer lingers for a very long time. The finish is a bit dry, but that hop bite persists with a vengeance.

One thing that I have always loved about 471 IPA is that you can intimately study the mouthfeel by taking very small sips and letting them dissipate on their own. You basically get an extremely concentrated version of the mouthfeel train. Relentless hops up front, sweet warming in the middle, then a very bitter finish. Definitely give it a try, it's quite fascinating. This little trick doesn't work properly on many beers, but shines with 471.

Overall, Breckenridge's 471 IPA is a very nice double IPA. The sweet, wheaty undertone definitely makes for one interesting interpretation. I personally love this beer. It has been one of my favorite IPAs for a very long time. But, it's by no means a cross-spectrum beer. Hop heads will certainly adore 471. It has such a unique personality and never disappoints. Fans of heavier brews will also appreciate 471, adding some sweetened aggression to their big beer arsenal. Novices and lighter brew fans should probably give a wide berth. It might look delicious and drinkably refreshing, but this brew is a taste bud terrorizer. Just remember... respect the glass rim beefcake.

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471 IPA by Breckenridge Brewery
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