Beware, all ye who enter here. I went to the store seeking a beer to shake me from my winter doldrums and wound up wrestling a kraken. The kraken in this scenario is Deviant Dale's IPA from Oskar Blues Brewery, and it's one big, bad, many-tentacled, hopped-up monster of a beer.
Beer Details: Deviant Dale's IPA from Oskar Blues Brewery, Longmont, CO (IPA, 8% ABV, 85 IBU)
Appearance: Deep orangey gold with a sticky cap of parchment-colored foam
Aroma: Citrus peel, pine resin, hop candy — pungent and heavy
Taste: Hops, oh hoppy hops! This one starts out with hops, loads you up with more hops, and then hits you with hops on the way out the door. It's a big sticky morass of grapefruit peel, deep forest pine resin, and fancy lady perfume — as if Oskar Blues shoved every West Coast hop they could find into one gnarly brew.
And yet, even with so much going on, this beer pulls it off. Rather than just a barrage of over-the-top bitterness, the hops stay distinct and snappy. The malts add sweetness and a chewy backbone, but otherwise stay out of the way and let the hops do the talking.
Yes, you have to be in the mood for a hop bomb with this one. But if and when you do find yourself in the mood, Deviant Dale is a superb choice.
(Image credits: Emma Christensen)