Well, today was a busy day. Even though it is a Saturday, I still had to get up and go to work. It was busy. On the weekends, I really enjoy getting to spend time with my daughter and wife and relax a bit. Luckily, I get to do that now.
Today’s beer comes to us from a Spanish brewery, Biir, and is a Triple IPA. What’s interesting about the beer is that even though the brewery is in Barcelona, Spain, this beer was brewed in Zichem, Belgium.
I’ve written about Evil Twin last year in the advent calendar and mentioned that he brews beers all over the world in collaboration with other breweries. Today’s brewery, Biir, is similar in many respects. One of their main goals as a brewery is to collaborate with others. Run by three friends, Albert Galan, Gunther Bensch, and Pere Mora, Biir doesn’t produce all of it’s beers in the same brewery. This Triple IPA, as I mentioned, was brewed in Belgium, while others have been brewed in Spain, and another brewed in collaboration with a brewery in Singapore.
While this may be one aspect of the brewery, they are often interested in creating unique and interesting beers. They’ve brewed this Triple IPA, a Belgian Style Dark Ale that’s been hopped up, A sweet and sour beer and an Oude Geuze. Not really sticking to any style in particular, they try different things and expand their horizons. They’ve got some delicious sounding beers and I’d be interested in trying many of them.
The beer we have today is a Triple IPA and is described by the brewery as such:
Inspired by Californian Triple IPA, we have brewed this extreme beer for the most exigent beer lovers, with lots of malts and Equinox hops. Despite it’s alcohol volume and bitterness, it’s a very well balanced beer.
Now, to be fair, a Triple IPA is really a bit of a misnomer. I’d describe it as likely being a top end Imperial IPA and many of the characteristics will be the same. The style of Imperial IPA, is a beer that is an American craft beer invention that began in the 1990s. Craft breweries were trying to “push the envelope” on their beers and appease the hop aficionados who were growing ever more interested in the flavor and variety that this plant can provide. By the 2000s this style had become much more mainstream and provides a way for brewers to experiment and be creative with hops. The adjective “Triple” really doesn’t mean anything other than this beer is stronger than a regular IPA and likely on the upper range of an Imperial IPA. You will see “Imperial” used quite regularly as well. It’s the same style.
The style should be intensely hoppy and strong with an IBU (international bitterness unit) range of 60-120, an ABV of between 7.5% and 10% with a lighter colour. Drinkability of the style is important and it should be well balanced with strong malt backbone and residual sweetness. Triple IPAs would be pushing to the upper end of this range and this bee, coming in at 9.4% for a 330ml bottle is certainly close.
Appearance – Hazy, pale amber, with a ridiculous head that just won’t go away.
Smell – Resin, pine notes, pineapple, and grapefruit from the hops, caramel notes come in from the malt at the end.
Taste – Up front, in the face, resinous citrusy hop bitterness that quickly transitions into a nice sweet malty caramel with that lingering resinous/grapefruit bitterness.
Mouth feel – Medium bodied, slightly oily mouthfeel, lingering bitterness, subtle alcohol warmth.
Overall – Very hoppy, good malt balance, alcohol content hardly noticeable for this 9.4% ABV beer. Big hop flavour balanced with good malt backbone is a pretty darn good Imperial IPA.
Do I like it? – Yes. While I don’t always seek out IPAs these days anymore, I do still enjoy good ones. I’m still interested in trying beers where they’re doing something out of the ordinary. A triple IPA certainly is. Well balanced, great hop bitterness, very much enjoyed day 10s beer.