Sunday, November 30, 2008

Beer O' the Moment: Mendocino Imperial IPA

The first time I had the Mendocino Imperial IPA, it wasn't the Mendocino Imperial IPA. It was the 2005-2006 Mendocino Winter Ale, and my first sip of it took place at the Olde Saratoga Brewing Company, the East Coast home of the Mendocino family of beers.

'Twas a cold winter's night in early 2006, and the weather gods were angry that night, my friends. And though I am loathe to be sentimental, this was a watershed pint of draft beer. For on this dark and foreboding evening, I entered this brewpub a burgeoning beer enthusiast, and exited ... a hop-head.

This beer holds a special place in the hearts of the Beerjanglin' family (should you enter "Mendocino" in the search of this site, you will find numerous mentions of it), and when I found a full case of it for only $24.99 plus NYS sales tax and deposit, I simply had to have it.

The beer itself? Well it's so good that Mendocino decided to make it a permanent part of their line-up, instead of just a one-off. (And to think we thought we were going to have to say good-bye.) The beer itself is a veritable orgy of hops, but it's not extreme. It uses several different hops that bring different flavors; it's citrus and grapefruit, combined with some pine and woods. It's bitter to be sure, but it's not over the top, because it has some nice bready malts to balance it.

Mendocino Imperial IPA is a "Winter Seasonal," which means that this beer and the NFL playoffs are basically the only two things to look forward to in the winter months. Since I have about 22 of them left, I'm hoping to ration it until the sun comes out again some time in late May.

6 comments:

DG Dunford said...

Why ration? Buy more. If it's out there, get at it.

Bojangles said...

Too bad they toned it down from the original 9% abv to the 7 and change it is now. Still, good stuff indeed. We're gonna have to hit up that tasting room again soon...

Willie Moe said...

I like tasting!

Bill said...

Sure Dunford, or should I say, Moneybags!!!!!

beckel said...

Indeed a tasty ale. I picked up a 6-pack at the recommendation of a friend and have been very pleased with its hop filled flavor yet immense drinkability. Though I only have a few left in the fridge I am excited to give it a proper review soon. Lucky you finding a case for a reasonable price.

Bojangles said...

Beckel: Reasonable prices are just one of the niceties of being located near a brewery. But I'm guessing you do okay in your neck of the woods...