Wednesday, December 25, 2013

IPAs — Phat Matt's vs. Crazy Mountain

Phat Matt's IPA
ABV 7%

Crazy Mountain
Hookiebobb IPA 
ABV 6.7%

While combing over the beer shelves recently a bizarre label featuring an image of an elephant peeking out of a tangle of hop bines caught my eye. Turns out it is from Crazy Mountain Brewing, a brewery out of Vail Colorado that we've never seen in these parts before. I chose to pit it against a bottle from Oregon brewery, Phatt Matt's, whose labels are not nearly as intriguing. Beers were tasted blind as usual.

Beer #1 (Phat Matt's IPA) was a clear reddish orange with a very nice tropical fruit aroma. The flavor was bready with lots of sweet fruits and the finish was moderately bitter.

Beer #2 (Hookiebobb IPA) was a hazy brownish orange and featured a complex nose of earth, pine, ash and a bit of cat pee. The flavor was very herbal and savory with some citrus in the finish that left a harshly bitter aftertaste.

As we've discussed many times before, making a good IPA is all about getting a good balance of malt to hops. Both of these leaned a bit too much on the malty side for our tastes. In comparing the two, Ellen immediately preferred the Phatt Matt's while I waffled for a bit before finally choosing Matt's as well. The Hookiebobb was interesting at first but got stranger and stranger as it warmed up and the herbal savoriness just turned out to be too prevalent. Congrats to Phatt Matt's on wining the battle — here's hoping they have enough time in between brewing batches of beer to upgrade those labels!

Unanimous decision: Phatt Matt's IPA

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