Thursday, February 9, 2012

3 Sheets (Leech Lake Brewing, Walker, MN)

3 Sheets by Leech Lake Brewing
Last bottle of the Leech Lake beers, and I saved the 100 IBU Imperial IPA for the finale.  Corked and caged, this is clearly their top of the line beer--though it resisted and the cork was devilishly hard to get out.

An ultra light brown head is rocky and creamy and unevenly rests on top of a dark mahogany ale that's shimmering copper at the edges.  The first sniff after the pour was a strong and clear earthy fuggles hop spice, but it dissipates to a light and pleasant aroma on top a caramel malt. Hop bite is assertive on the tongue; again, earthy with a bit of pepper.  Solid malt base that warms from the 10.5% alcohol.  Bitterness plus a malt sweetness off the back of the tongue finishes well.

I think I expected a bit of this taste from the IPA, but I think the fuggles hops don't build because the low alpha acid content (3.5-5.5% according to John Palmer's hop variety chart).  While 100 IBU, its perceived bitterness is more like an above average IPA.   This strong beer is fun to drink, and I look forward to tasting it on tap when I get a chance to visit Leech Lake Brewing Co to follow up on this set of bottles.

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