Thursday, March 18, 2010

Imperial IPAs — Widmer vs. Bridgeport

Widmer Deadlift Imperial IPA

ABV 8.6%, IBU 70

Bright, clear orange.
Orange blossoms, honey and clove.
Hop candy — malty sweet with a little citrus.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Delicious sweetness followed by a mellow, lingering bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):

Bridgeport Hop Czar Imperial IPA
ABV 7.5%, IBU 85

Bright, clear orange. Almost exactly the same as the Widmer.
Pine tree sap, SweeTarts, lemon peel, ammonia.
Flavor: Brief honey sweetness that is almost immediately obliterated by bitterness.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Hoppy
Finish: Bitter, bitter and more bitter. Lemon peel and did we mention bitter?
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Mediocre

Winner by unanimous decision
: Widmer in a first round knockout. The Bridgeport seemed way out of balance. All hops, no malt makes Hop Czar a bitter boy. The Deadlift, on the other hand, had a solid malt backbone to balance the hops. All around, it had softer edges and was amazingly easy to drink, despite the higher alcohol content. According to the 4-pack box, the Deadlift uses the Nelson Sauvin hop from New Zealand. We're all for local ingredients, but if this foreign hop variety tastes this good in other beers, please send a bottle our way.


  1. Nice! I gotta find me some Deadlift, I should have stopped by Bottleworks yesterday.... I had a taster at Naked City and was pleasantly surprised.

  2. The only taste I could decipher in the Hop Czar is an overwhelming (ahem) mari-ju-ana flavor that lingers on the tongue long after the last swig.