Parallel 49 / Bench Creek Brewing THEM – Black IPA at 6.8% ABV

Parallel 49 / Bench Creek Brewing THEM Black IPA at 6.8% ABV (C$3.50 at Sobeys Liquor Okotoks, 473 ml, packaged on 17-Jul-2018, acquired 3-Sep-2018, reviewed 9-Sep-2018)

Appearance: clear deep brown with one fat finger of rocky ivory head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: roasty malts, stone fruit, citrus, chocolate, coffee, smoke. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium duration slightly spicy finish. (4/5)

I had a brief but intense fling with this style, now somewhat embarrassing to recall – as is so often the case in such situations, the flame that burns brightest burns shortest. Every now and then, though, I find a well-executed example of the style that reminds me of why I fell in love in the first place. It’s fairly unsurprising that Bench Creek is involved in such a discovery, since I’ve found them to be generally on point, with flashes of brilliance. This doesn’t quite qualify as a flash of brilliance, but it’s certainly a respectable effort, with no significant flaws. Last one of the “Craft Cousins” 4-pack of Parallel 49 collaborations with Alberta breweries, and a solid finish. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze

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