Beer of the Weekend #767: Upslope Imperial IPA

The beer tonight was a parting gift from my friend in Colorado: Imperial IPA, brewed by the Upslope Brewing Company of Boulder, Colorado.

The color is cloudy, pale to medium amber. About two fingers of dense, shiny, bubble-spotted head dissipates slowly and leaves a lot of lacing along the glass. I could smell a tropical, citrusy bouquet while pouring. In the glass, the aroma is inviting with scents of orange, caramel, light licorice, and hints of tropical fruit in the background. Unfortunately, the big bouquet wilted and dropped off the table for some reason. Perhaps a shaker pint or tulip would have been a better choice of glassware. Oh well. The mouthfeel is a dream — creamy and smooth. The 10 percent ABV is present but not intrusive or distracting, as it usually is with such high gravity beers; instead, it provides a pleasant warming sensation that lingers on the taste buds. The flavor is citrusy and piney, though balanced and not over-the-top hoppy with characters of orange, a touch of zest, minor grapefruit, pineapple, caramel, maybe a little licorice, lightly toasted malt, and arboreal hops. The bitterness, which lingers on the back of the tongue after the alcohol warmth has faded, has a floral character, too. Balanced, tasty, and tame yet bold, this is an amazing imperial IPA.

Fun facts about Upslope Imperial IPA:

• Style: Imperial IPA.

• Price: Enduring my friend’s jokes and teasing on RAGBRAI.

• Alcohol content: 10 percent ABV.

The Quiet Man’s grade: A+.

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