Medicine Hat Brewing Co. Year 5 Imperial West Coast IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.9% ABV | 116 IBU (C$4.50 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 23-Dec-2021, reviewed 24-Dec-2021)
Appearance: clear pale amber with two fat fingers of fine pale ivory head, excellent retention and heavy soapy lacing. (5/5) Aroma: resiny pine, oily grapefruit, caramel, earth. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium slightly slick body, moderate carbonation, lingering building bitter boozy finish. (4/5)
A solid effort and clearly above average for my experience with this brewer (for n=11, μ=7.2 & σ=0.78). I find it seems like they do best with big, bombastic beers, and this one definitely conforms to that rule. I waffled a little on scoring aroma and taste, and could maybe have gone a point higher on either (or both), but ultimately I don’t think it’s better than the overall score I settled on. In particular, given the big bitter hops, I was hoping for a bit more dank, and the aroma turns a little earthy upon warming. Given the weight (both ABV and IBU) of this one, it’s not like you can (well, let’s say should – of course you can) drink it fast, so that’s a definite consideration. On the other hand, it’s a straight-up, old-skool WCIPA that just pretends the haze craze never happened, so mad props for that. (16/20)
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