Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sly Fox Brewing Co: Odyssey Imperial IPA

I made my trek to Tria, the local beer and wine bar, tonight to sample their weekly featured brew. What they had on tap was a local imperial IPA. It being a cold winter night (snow is on the ground), a strong beer was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Odyssey is one of the IPAs that feature a distinctive "piney" taste to them. This taste compliments the extreme hoppiness of an IPA quite nicely. What sets Odyssey apart is that--unlike many IPAs--it doesn't write off the malt flavors entirely. There's an almost sugary malt sweetness that comes through in this beer, and while sugar isn't generally a flavor you'd like to see in a beer, in this case it works out quite nicely. There is also a faint citrusy taste at play in here somewhere, and as you'd expect, the taste of alcohol is also present (though not too strongly).

It seems that in most cases, IPA brewers ignore the malt aspects of their beer entirely to focus on pleasing their hophead constituency. But for those of us that are not extreme hopheads, having a secondary flavor to balance out the hops works out great. But IPA devotees shouldn't worry about this--this is an Imperial IPA through and through, with plenty of hops to go around. In sum, if you are into the India Pale Ale genre, this is definitely a brew worth seeking out.

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