Forgoing the taste bud chainmail
A Review of Invasion IPA by Mikkeller
Posted on 11/9/2012 by Chops
In the craft beer world, Mikkeller IPAs are forces to be reckoned with. More often times than not, they are aggressive, bold, palate-punishing concoctions that require a certain amount of masochism to enjoy. So going into the Invasion IPA, I found the name to be somewhat redundant. Every Mikkeller IPA is a taste bud invader complete with stinging hop swords and thick malty shields. I am by no means saying that these beers aren't enjoyable. Quite the contrary actually, there is nothing in the craft beer world I enjoy more than battling a new Mikkeller IPA. There's always a heaping bucket of flavor trailing those relentless hop soldiers.

In the glass, this beer has a hazy burnt orange coloration. It comes with a frothy white head that has good retention. On the nose, that classic Mikkeller burnt citrus aroma fills the air around the glass. It has a earthy piney vibe to it that is very rich and very thick. At this point there's nothing left to do but grin and nod. The battle has begun. The only question left is what particular suits of armor will the hops be dawning.

The hops certainly come out swinging on that first sip. But, it doesn't take long to realize that your dealing with a unique creation. This particular hop profile takes on a syrupy pine resin character that is very warm and almost spicy. Resting underneath is a sweet orange citrus layer that combines with the hop profile to form an interesting zesty note. The malts have a lesser role to play in this beer and reside as a charred woody foundation. It's savory and noticeable, but not prominent. The mouthfeel has a mid-level body and drinks somewhat dry all the way through the finish. It's very bold and has good bite, but is also surprisingly approachable.

Overall, Mikkeller's Invasion IPA is a delicious brew with a restrained bite. It's actually one of the very few Mikkeller IPAs that general craft beer fans can use as a bridge into the more aggressive side of the spectrum. This beer has great flavor and a lively bitterness, but is not so big as to ward off the curious. But on the flip side, the Invasion IPA is still too big for novices. Best to build your pale ale palate before tackling beauty. Much to my surprise, this Mikkeller IPA battle was cordial and controlled. It wasn't a tickle fight mind you, so definitely show this brew some respect. You can just leave your taste bud chainmail at home.

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Invasion IPA by Mikkeller
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