Monday, January 19, 2015

Triple India Pale Ales — Green Flash vs. Knee Deep

Green Flash
Green Bullet Triple IPA
ABV 10.1%

Knee Deep Brewing 
Simtra Triple IPA 
ABV 11.25% 

A friend dropped off the Knee Deep on the way through town (thanks Brandon!) which inspired me to hunt down another "Triple IPA" for a battle. File the Triple IPA style along with all the other hoppy beer styles that really have no official metric to distinguish one from another. I think that this inconsistency could potentially be quite confusing and frustrating to people just getting into craft beer, but perhaps I'm just an OCD stats geek that wants things compartmentalized and orderly? Regardless, let's see what this whole triple IPA thing is all about. Beers were tasted blind as usual.

Beer #1 (Knee Deep Simtra Triple IPA) was a hazy orangish brown with a suspicious lack of bubbles. The nose was a punch in the face with a hop-soaked glove. Massive notes of grass dominated with such an intensity that it came across as almost medicinal. It also had lots of alcohol on the nose which contributed to that medicinal quality. As suspected, it had almost no carbonation but featured a medium body due to a load of malty, sweetness in an attempt to balance out the hop attack. Alcohol continued to be prevalent in the flavor and throughout the finish with a moderate bitterness reminiscent of grapefruit.

Beer #2 (Green Flash Green Bullet) was a crystal clear orangish brown with plenty of bubbles. It also featured a huge blast of hops in the aroma, focusing more on bright fruitiness with a bit of funk and some new oak woodiness. We also got whiffs of meat, nuts and a vegetal quality as the beer warmed up. All in all it was a very unique and complex aroma. The body was creamy and medium bodied with flavors of fruit forward hoppiness and nuts. It finished with a moderate piney and grassy bitterness and a bit of lingering alcohol flavor.

As expected, these were both extremely intense beers — lots of hops, loads of malts and high in alcohol. And to be honest, as much as we love hops, both of these beers were just a bit too much. The Knee Deep Simtra strayed into territory reserved for smelling salts and bitter liqueurs which made it hard to finish the 22 oz. bottle even between the two of us. The Green Bullet was also a monster, but a slightly more tolerable monster with a unique nose and a nice body. Both should be taken in small doses unless your main goal in drinking them is to wince and then fall asleep.

Unanimous decision: Green Flash Green Bullet Triple IPA

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