Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mikkeller Warrior Single Hop IPA

Fresh hop aroma with just a hint of raisin like malts comes through in a big inhale. As Mikkeller starts his American invasion, this beer is just one of several sitting in my fridge that I can't wait to try. He has named this beer simply for what it is, a Warrior hopped American style IPA. For those of you who are not familiar, Warrior, refers to the type of Hops he used, not the integrity of the ale. However, there is little need to question the integrity of this beer, as it delivers on everything the nose and front end promises. Warrior hops are somewhat similar to nugget and columbus hops having very high alpha rates of around 15 to 17%. Tasting warrior is quite a bit more neutral flavored than hops like Simcoe and Summit, which have equivalent alpha rates. Simcoe and Summit tend to stand out quite a bit more, while Warrior will be smoother, more pleasing to the non-acquainted hop lover.

The nose and front end have a remarkable citrus and pine flavor, a result no doubt of fresh warrior hopping. The citrus is so bright on the front end that it actually tickles your tongue like I remember from drinking berry flavored Crystal Geyser's as a kid. However, instead of artificial preservatives, this carbonation is thinly bolstered with hints of fresh hops.

The back end mixes a malty raisin, honey sweetness with alpha bitterness that hits the back of your tongue; it's a beautifully crafted balance between the two that I've come to expect from SeƱor Mikkeller. But that being said, as you delve deeper into the beer, the malty side does seem to take over, which for us west coast purists, is verbotten. Otherwise, nicely done.

Warrior Single Hop IPA: ***1/2

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