RATINGS: 190   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.47/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
An ode to the Owens Valley and the Highway 395 corridor, this Double IPA is distinctly bolder than out Epic IPA and celebrates the aromas of wild local fresh hops, sage, and juniper.

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   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Alengrin (5168) - BELGIUM - APR 7, 2017
From a stubby 35.5 cl bottle, my first from this craft brewery in Mammoth Lakes, California. Densely moussy, egg-white, lightly lacing head, retaining very well and staying closed for quite a while, though showing small gaps after a few minutes; clear, deep autumny reddish amber colour with darker bronze tinge, typical red IPA appearance, narrow strings of fizz here and there. Aroma is heavily dominated by juniper berries - I could smell them from inches distance even before I read on the label that this beer actually contains them - exhaling a very characteristic, ethereal spicy and piney odour, largely covering more subtle impressions of gingerbread, fresh sage leaves (much more so than the sharp, pungent spiciness of dried sage), warm biscuit, candied peach, dried orange rind, hard butterscotch candy, gin and tonic, toast, roasted paprika peel, dry cookies, old cheese, wormwood, olive oil. Rounded, clean fruitiness in the mouth, dried red berries, some orange peel and a vague hint of apricot, only subduedly sweetish with a dull, generic sourishness at its sides, medium carbonated with minerally notes here and there, slick and rather oily mouthfeel. Nutty and explicitly toasted malt core, only very vaguely sweetish at the start but quickly turning bitterish, the bitterness merging seamlessly with the hoppiness, which shows up even before the finish and coats the back of the mouth and the throat with a resinous, spicy, piney bitterness which is in turn reinforced by the wryness of the juniper berries and, eventually, an afterglow of warming, in this case genuinely gin-like alcohol, while retronasal piney hop aromas go hand in hand with the pineyness of the juniper berries; the ethereal, resiny, almost glueish spiciness of the latter goes on and on after swallowing. I have encountered juniper berries in many a recent Belgian ale trying to be modern and different - as well as in a few New World beers - and I just cannot seem to learn to appreciate them; to my personal taste, these things simply do not belong in beer, as they become overpowering and astringent at a very early stage. I get the idea of using them to accentuate a piney hop character, especially in a red IPA like this one, but to my taste this beer would have been a lot better off without them, applying an even more generous dose of hops (an IBU of 50, as stated on the label, is still a bit on the modest side for a 21st-century IPA). But that is mere personal preference of course: IPA can do just about anything these days, from a near-forgotten beer style which was not much more than an old name, it has become a world of its own now with all kinds of wondrous possibilities, and I guess IPA with spices is as good a choice as any other. Technically, this beer is more than correctly executed as well, there is no flaw or off-flavour in sight, the alcohol remains well hidden (though not completely) and the whole thing looks beautiful. Just not my beer - if only this had contained less of the juniper and more fragrant hops, this would have been a perfectly enjoyable West Coast (red) IPA to me. In this form, with less expressive hop fragrance than harsh juniper effects and being an 8% red ale, this is perhaps better characterized as an "American strong ale" rather than IPA of any substyle?

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Fatehunter (2542) - Corbett, Oregon, USA - APR 1, 2017
Pours two fingers of head on a clear dark straw body. Aroma showcases the juniper and sage. Its nice. Taste has the juniper dry bitterness beginning to end, theres some mild lemon bitterness too. Really dry. Texture is crisp. Interesting and good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
martjoobolut (4084) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - MAR 5, 2017
Bottle (from beergium). Pours clear red copper with beige head. Aroma is sweet, caramel, malt,citrus. Flavor is sweet and bitter, malt, caramel, fruits, herbs, Overall: ok.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
brettclement (10) - - DEC 29, 2016
I think the fresh mountain spring water makes this beer great. otherwise normal water would be an average IRA

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 7/20
zvikar (6022) - Ramat Gan, ISRAEL - OCT 29, 2016
Deep orange-amber, beige head, aroma of floor cleaning agent, floral, bitter flavor, cardboard, orange, floral, sweet, not fun, medium bodied.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
bergstaden (2874) - Rros, NORWAY - OCT 16, 2016
Amber with off white head - Hops, sage and other herbs in the aroma - Malt body with hops herbs and some spicy flavours - Ther herbal flavours goes into the finish with some bitterness - This was good

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
HPDalen (376) - DENMARK - SEP 25, 2016
Bottle. Pours deep golden with a thin, white head. Juniper berries and sage very dominant in the aroma, almost a bit overwhelming as it masks most other aromas. Nice palate, medium body, quite soft carbonation. Bitter finish, but still quite soft. Flavour is better than aroma, nice balance between bitter pine and sweet caramel with distinct flavour of juniper berry. This is rather bold, and nicely pulled off.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Braudog (6630) - Yorktown, Virginia, USA - SEP 7, 2016
Bottle. Looks like root beer and smells like a soda, too. The juniper and sage dominate over the tops of this otherwise barky brew, herbal and sweet at the same time. Not my cup of tea ... in fact it would be better as tea than beer. (#6316, 9/1/2016)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
gunnar (8876) - Sandnes, NORWAY - AUG 30, 2016
Bottle from Ales by Mail. Pours hazy dark amber with a big creamy off-white head. Strong piney aroma. Taste is light sweet, with a nice distinct juniper addition, dry piney finsih with oranges and mints at the end.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DenverLogan (1205) - LA, California, USA - AUG 30, 2016
From a bottle into a Sierra Nevada stem glass. Pours brown with head and lace. Aroma of big juniper, sage, roasty malts and hay. Significant carbonation and big mouthfeel. Flavors of roasty malts, caramel, bitter herbs, gin, sage, molassas, straw hops. Overall big, bold, unique...obviously not for everyone but I enjoy the boldness of malts, hops and the herbs...though I wouldnt call it an IPA.

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