A Lesson to Be Learned
A Review of Single Hop Imperial IPA: Simcoe by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
Posted on 6/26/2011 by Brew's Your Daddy
                   
Great
In the world of Imperial IPAs, there are two distinct camps. Those who do it right, and those who fail miserably. It's as simple as that. There really is no middle ground in this category. Time and time again, I've tried ones that are just WAY too hoppy, WAY too boozy, or WAY to...crappy in general. The most important thing when it comes to IPAs, especially Imperials, is balance. Too much booze and not enough bite equals crappy. Too much bite and not enough booze, again equals crappy. And all too often brewers forget this, and just want to be the latest to assault your senses and leave you making a funny and disgusted face after tasting their brew. I want to be the first to say that Flying Dog Imperial IPA Simcoe Single Hop isn't out to leave you making that disgusted face. Quite the contrary. They are out to leave you making a extremely satisfied face, and they are on the right track.

When you pour it, the beer looks like a great Imperial IPA. Rich and golden, with undeniable proof that this one is unfiltered. Some very fine floaties in the glass keep it from being completely translucent. There is no aroma train here. You can be my guest and try to find one, but in the end, you will have to agree with me. The Simcoe hops do more than just dominate this beer. They own it. Other than pine and some faint tart fruit smells, both of which can directly be attributed to the hops, there really aren't any other detectable smells in this one. Strangely enough, its amazingly enjoyable and inviting.

I found myself excited, but mildly hesitant when going in for the first taste. With such a huge, almost overwhelming hop profile, I was really hoping that this wasn't just another ''We think the only way to make a good Imperial IPA is to make it so bitter and tart that your mouth will implode and collapse on itself like a black hole'' beer. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that this beer was quite the opposite. It did have the typical hop bite, but it wasn't over powering. It was more crisp and clean than anything else. You could really ''taste'' the hops, which is a rarity in most of todays Imperial IPAs. Just like the aromas, this one is pretty cut and dry in the flavor department. Pay real close attention at the beginning, and you will notice a faint malt flavor. It is QUICKLY replaced by a distinct piney flavor, and some tart grapefruit taste all the way until the end. It finishes very crisp, dry and clean. Its about as perfect as a mouth feel gets for an Imperial IPA.

I think Flying Dog has a beer here to be proud of. I admittedly am not a ''hophead'', but I can appreciate a beer for being ''right''. This one has all the characteristics of what an Imperial IPA SHOULD have. It has a good hop bite, aroma, and alcohol content. All the experienced beer drinkers would really enjoy this one. Hopheads would be in heaven, no question. To all the beginners out there, if you are in the mood to see what a real Imperial IPA is, dive right in. But be warned, this beer is about to teach you a lesson. Be sure to bring a pad, and a pencil, and take good notes. School is in session.

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Single Hop Imperial IPA: Simcoe by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
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