Beer of the Weekend #586: Irritated Koala Smoked Tea Black IPA

You know what? I do not think I have ever enjoyed a beer while watching a soccer game. At least not a World Cup game. (Now that I think about it, Bobblehead and I enjoyed a couple brews at Red’s Alehouse while watching a Philadelphia–Portland MLS game in 2012. And, I forgot: we drank quite a few brews during the opening matches of the most recent Premier League season last August.) During the hiatus between today’s first two games, I bopped down to the Co-op and picked up the beer of the weekend: Irritated Koala Smoked Tea Black IPA, brewed by the Two Brothers Brewing Company of Warrenville, Illinois.

Two Brothers is new to Iowa. I believe they entered the state within the last week.

Serving type: 22-ounce “bomber.” No freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a tulip glass. The color is slightly darker than iced tea brown. Two fingers of dense, eggshell-colored foam settled very slowly, leaving a bubbly froth in the center, a ring around the edge, and short trails of foam along the glass.

Smell: I could smell the citrus and tropical fruit the moment after I popped the cap. It smells like a delicious blend of dark malts and citrus. Toasted malts, chocolate, caramel, mango, pineapple, a little tangerine and grapefruit citrus. There is also a scent of room temperature black tea.

Taste: The smoked tea is immediately noticeable, lending a flavor akin to bancha Hōjicha. It is rather sharp and astringent, too, when combined with the citrus hops and bitterness. It kind of crowds out the other flavors, which include toasted malts, caramel, dark chocolate, pineapple, mango, tangerine, and grapefruit. The astringency, thankfully, fades and allows the dark malts to play a larger role.

Drinkability: Good stuff. I do not think I have ever had tea-infused beer before. I like it, but I think I would rather do without it. I believe this would be a badass black IPA without the tea.

Fun facts about Irritated Koala:

-Style: Black IPA.

-Price: $5.49/bottle at the New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City.

-Alcohol content: 6.1 percent ABV.

-IBU: 46.

-Description on the label:

This is Joey, a slightly perturbed koala. He’s upset because he applied to be a brewer but didn’t get the job. It wasn’t that he sleeps twenty hours a day, he just didn’t have the right koalafications.

This black IPA was brewed with Lapsang Souchong, a smoked black tea. This addition gives a smokey complexity that pairs with the tea and citrus hop notes.

“Smokey” should be “smoky.” Just sayin’.

The Quiet Man’s grade: B.

Popular Posts