Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Name change suggestion: Happy Monk?

Grumpy Monk by Boston Beer Company | Samuel Adams
Belgian IPA
5.7% ABV

Have you worked your way through the Sam Adams IPA-Hop-Ology pack yet?
You should.

Unlike my co-blogger, I usually shy away from IPAs all together. Scratchy, tongue shredding hops are not something that I enjoy drinking. That said, I learned a ton about IPAs working through this sampler and… I LOVED THEM ALL!

The Hop-Ology Pack includes six limited release IPAs; The Third Voyage IPA, which takes its inspiration from Captain James Cook, whose titular third voyage took him from England to New Zealand to the Pacific Northwest. The double IPA contains hops from all three of those locations to give the brew a citrusy, earthy character.

The Dark Depths Baltic IPA is inspired by an English variety, the Baltic IPA transformed a mild ale into a dark and complex lager, with dark, roasted malts and a citrus hop character.

The Tasman Red IPA contains hops from Tasmania, the Australian island state. The beer has the grapefruit and pine flavors typical of IPAs, but the hops also have a flavor of roastiness with a hint of toffee to balance the normal IPA flavors. This is a strong bold red, more so than I was used to, but still enjoyable.

The Latitude 48 IPA contains a blend of five different hops, all originating from the titular 48th latitude line. The hops come from the Hallertau region of Germany (Hallertau Mittelfrueh), the East Kent region of southeastern England (East Kent Goldings) and Yakima County, Wash. (Ahtanum, Simcoe and Zeus).

The Whitewater IPA combines the white wheat, sweet citrus and spicy coriander of Belgian-style white ale with the grapefruit flavors of an IPA and last but not least the Grumpy Monk … (we’ll get back to this one)

I was weary with every pour, and to my surprise I enjoyed every brew. The sampler came to about $22 and was well worth it. The art overall with this sampler is awesome. Each bottle ties together the series with hand drawn chalk design on the case. It's unique and inviting. Well done BBC design team -- gotta love marketing!

My favorite of the sampler had to be the Grumpy Monk. The name on its own sells the beer.
I turn to the bottle for a description:

“The long held brewing traditions of Belgian monks aren’t meant to be broken. Yet, to the monk’s dismay, the distinctive character of Belgian yeast with its spicy clove and fruit notes can be reimagined when combined with the brazen hop character of an IPA. These hops impart a citrusy, piney, and earthy flavor that’s balanced by a roasted malt sweetness for a complex and playful brew."

Well, this monk has nothing to be grumpy about.

The Pour: Gorgeous amber color with a creamy two finger head. I also had some clingy lace to the side of my glass.

The Nose: It’s grainy and bisquity with dominant notes of clove

The Taste: light-to-medium bodied and well balanced with citrus, pine and earthy flavors that all meld together creating one of the best Belgians I’ve had in a while. It’s well carbonated, bready and delicious. My only negative comment – I only got two!

Do you know what else the Monk’s make that goes great with beer? Cheese!
This would pair up nicely with any stinky, gooey washed rind cheese you can get your hands on.

Well that’s my IPA lesson for today kids. Hop heads and those in training can get behind this variety pack, I promise. Keep an eye out!

What are some of your favorite IPAs? Tell us below:


toenee said...

Sammy Adams knocked this sampler out of the park. When these were first all released (with the exception of the Lat48 and Whitewater IPA), they were in 22oz bombers. Then to see that they put all of these delicious offerings in ONE mix pack is AWESOME.

$22 for a mix pack is a little steep but it's definitely rewarding if you have the dough. Nice post and recap Katie!!

Jake Bagadonuts said...

tony is right, they really did a phenomenal job with this 12 pack. I was lucky enough to find it for $18 and I scooped it up quickly! This is one of the best mix packs of the year so far, I was really impressed by SA.

Grumpy Monk was easily the bet of the batch, and inspired my first review! funny we both chose the same beer haha

great post!