Beer Review: Slumbrew Snow Angel Imperial IPA
My tastes for styles of beers change like the seasons. I find myself chasing after crisp lagers and pale ales in the summer, winter months are my time for triples and barleywines. The one style of beer that is a constant companion throughout the year is the IIPA (Imperial India Pale Ale).
When an IIPA is brewed correctly, it is one of the most flavorful and complex ales you can pour in a glass. Alas, all IIPAs are not in this class. Some brewers (a small subset of them) feel by adding some derivative of the word HOP in a beer’s title, jacking up the ABV% and adding a fistful of hops to each bottle will give the consumer a satisfactory hopbomb. This could not be further from the truth, I have encountered too many of these “hopbombs” that taste like an over hopped IPA with a shot of vodka in it, aggressive and unbalanced.
However as I have previously stated…
When an IIPA is done right it is an ale in a class of its own. Slumbrew Snow Angel IIPA is one of these perfectly brewed beers.
Snow Angel has a stunning appearance, the beer pours a hazy light orange color with a fluffy white head. The aroma of this beer as you would expect is hoppy but in no way one-dimensional. There are touches of tropical fruits, grapefruit and fresh pine that meet you as you raise the glass to your nose. Snow Angel has a nicely carbonated mouthful with a medium body. The flavor is very complex with an interesting malt backbone. As announced in the aroma the beer has grapefruit, mango and earthy tones wash across the palette. I found a biting of wheat in the flavor, there is also a nice breadyness balancing out the hops.
What I love about this beer is the finish, very crisp with just enough malt sweetness to balance out the copious amount of hops. Slumbrew knocked it out of the park with this offering and gave the craftbeer community a world class IIPA and a model for brewers trying to duplicate the style correctly Slumbrew gets extra credit for not putting the word HOP in the title, because frankly some of these new beer names are getting hopannoying. I am not saying all beers with HOP in their title are bad, however Slumbrew Brewing’s Snow Angel seems to get the message across without hitting us over the head with it.