Beer: Big Eddy Imperial IPA
Brewery: Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Style: Imperial IPA
Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Snifter glass
Drinking Establishment: George Street Ale House, New Brunswick, NJ
Primary Consumer: Ally
Sight: Ruby-tinged amber coloration, with a 2-finger fluffy white head.
Smell: Bright floral notes, perhaps some pine, and citrus fruit.
Flavor: Tastes like tropical fruit, like pineapple and papaya, but with an earthy hop aftertaste.
Feel: The mouthfeel has a bite to it. Moderate carbonation.
Concluding Remark: I will admit, I was a bit biased against Leinenkugel’s take on the IPA. In full-on beer snob mode, I wrote them off as the only “craft” brew that local townie bars carry, amongst the Coors Light and Budweiser taps, i.e. the beer that bros will drink to impress the ladies with their beer knowledge. (Yeah, right, bro.) Granted, the Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat tastes like Fruity Pebbles cereal, which is fascinating, but still, they couldn’t do a decent job with an IPA, could they?
Well, I was pleasantly surprised. Using five different kinds of Pacific Northwest hops (Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe, Amarillo, and Citra), the Big Eddy Imperial IPA is bold but balanced, and therefore highly drinkable. Perhaps this is the beer that can bring bros and beer snobs, hipsters and hos together at last? That question will remain unanswered. But as to the question of whether or not you should try this brew, I give a rousing response of “go for it.”
Oh, and as for the name, the Big Eddy Spring runs right through the Leinenkugel Brewery in Wisconsin and was once dubbed “the purest water in the world.” Leinenkugel has two other beers in its Big Eddy line at the moment, a Russian Imperial Stout and a Scotch Ale.