Don't Put the Cart Before the Horse
A Review of 10 by Mikkeller
Posted on 3/21/2012 by Chops
                   
Delicious
Trying a new Mikkeller brew is a lot like visiting the dentist. Hear me out now, I say this as a good thing. It doesn't matter what you are sitting in that chair for, be it a root canal or a routine cleaning, you have been conditioned to expect punishment. Visits can certainly be painful, but you can rest assured that you will always leave with a rewarding outcome. Sometimes you go in expecting the worst only to finish up thinking, ''huh, that wasn't bad at all.'' Can you see the parallel now? Pain is a good thing. It gives you perspective. And while we struggle to see the reasoning behind root canals like the 1000 IBU Imperial IPA, it still gives us perspective. This is why I was pleasantly surprised by the gentle nature of the Mikkeller 10 IPA.

In the glass, this beer has a murky burnt orange coloration. It actually looks thick and syrupy, which was surprising for a relatively small ABV (by Mikkeller standards). It came with a rocky white head that dissipates at a gradual pace. The aroma consists of a pungent piney hop profile with a candied citrus sitting atop a strong malty backbone. There is also an earthy undertone which gives the malt a woody character. It's a very interesting intro which had me openly speculating what that first sip was going to be like.

Not surprisingly, the first thing you notice is the sharp hop bite. The hops take on a crisp pine flavor with a hint of sweet citrus. It only lasts for a few seconds until a solid malty backbone comes into focus, consisting of rich caramels and toasted breads. The malt characters are so thick and heavy that they do a great job to balancing out the hops. They act much like a thick coat of molasses. The aggression is there, but the malt slows the assault. Considering the thickness of the flavors, the finish is surprising dry and bitter. The aftertaste sticks around for a very long time, so best to make peace with it. This brew is pretty subdued for a Mikkeller IPA and is much smoother than it smells. It also gains a fruity sweetness as warms, so definitely take your time with it.

Overall, the Mikkeller 10 IPA is a fantastic brew with good balance and a strong character. It's quite meaty for a IPA and doesn't skimp on aggression. As usual, I can only recommend it to seasoned drinkers. On the other hand, if there was such a thing as a Mikkeller baseline, this would be it. So for any adventurous drinkers who are eager to explore the wild and unpredictable world of Mikkeller, I would recommend the 10 IPA as a safe introduction. From there the choice is yours. Just remember: always get a check-up before a root canal. Or better yet: don't put the cart before the horse.

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10 by Mikkeller
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