Well, maybe to celebrate a week away from a landmark day from me (stay tuned, next wednesday will be a special tasting) or maybe to wash down the pizza we had while watching the debate tonight, I decided to tap the Anderson Valley 20th Anniversary Imperial IPA - Imperial IPA's are one of my favorite styles, so let's go....
It pours a dark amber with a creamy full head.
The smell is all hop - it has almost a raw hop aroma to it. A hint of that smell you get when you are a few blocks from a brewery. It also has a mild malt smell. It is spicy and flowery, as well.
The taste is bitter (in a good way). It has a medium body and an aggressive hop flavor. There is also some yeast in there, as well. The maltiness does not balance the hop too much, so there is plenty of floral hop flavor to fill the senses. It is not for those who do not enjoy the gift of extreme hop, but if you do or willing to try it out, this is a wonderful example of the Imperial IPA.
The aftertaste is hoppy with a lot of bitterness. It dominates the palate, so beware of what you decide to enjoy along with it.
I found this particular beer at Food Front over here in NW Portland. Anderson Valley beers are available all over, I found them plenty in Boston. I'm not sure how long the 20th Anniversary Imperial IPA will be around, my suggestion is to grab it soon.