Beer: Garrison Imperial IPA
Brewery: Garrison Brewing Company (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Style: Imperial India Pale Ale
Alcohol: 7% ABV
Halifax-based Garrison Brewing’s Imperial IPA made it to my neck of the woods in Ontario in late 2010, and I’m finally getting around to writing up my impressions of the beer (much as I love sampling, it’s taken months to get into a rhythm of actually writing up the reviews of beers that I taste; unfortunately, I’m still a couple of dozen reviews behind … but that’s the last I’ll mention that).
Ontario beer lovers felt fortunate to get their hands on some of the Garrison Imperial IPA, as it has a very high rating on sites like RateBeer.com. After getting a couple of bottles to drink in November 2010, I can see why.
From the 500mL bottle, Garrison Imperial IPA pours a golden colour with hints of red. The white head that accompanies the beer is about half a finger thick. It’s a tad hazy, but that’s expected (Garrison doesn’t filter its beers), and as I drank the beer, there was good lacing down the side of the glass. It’s a great-looking beer.
There’s something about Cascade hops, and many breweries are using them now in their own beers. They showed up in this imperial IPA with a hefty dose of hops in the nose. In fact, the nose is all hops.
Considering the aroma, it wasn’t a surprise when the taste was mostly hops. Imperial IPAs tend to be incredibly heavy on the hops, and this one is no different. It’s also incredibly bitter and has a very dry finish. The malt flavours are very light, with the beer being over-balanced towards hops and bitterness — but again, it’s an imperial IPA. The brew has a nice, smooth, almost chewy mouthfeel, and only a slight alcohol bite (without much alcohol warmth and no burn).
Excellent stuff. Nova Scotians are incredibly lucky to have a brewery like Garrison, and I feel even luckier to have had the chance to try this beer out when it made it to Ontario last year. IPA lovers will appreciate and likely instantly love this beer. Enjoy it if you can get it.