10 Barrel IPA - 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 41 | Reviews: 3 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by RedDiamond:
3.4/5 rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
As Wildfire Brewing soon changes its name to 10 Barrel Brewing, some beers with fire-themed names such as this will be renamed. I don't know what this one will end up as, but I have it on good authority that the recipes will remain unaltered.
In most cases that would be a good idea. But Backdraft was the least drinkable of the four Wildfire beers I had on a recent jaunt to Bend. It begins well enough with a mind-blowing hop aroma. Usually there's something lost between the hop cones or pellets you hold in your hand before brewing, and the perceived taste or smell that ends up in the beer. But in this beer, nothing is lost. The taste and the smell are as immediate and fresh as in any beer I've ever had.
Moreover, the sensory spectrum between taste and smell is wonderfully obscured here. The smell falls neatly into the taste and vice versa, as if you were tasting the smell or smelling the taste. I suppose at some physiological level you actually are, but it is uncommonly expressed here with a resinous potency of floral, spicy hops.
My main critique of this ale would be that it's actually too hoppy. That's right, too many hops. There's no balance to latch onto and the flavor is unrelenting. If hops were expressed in terms of electric currency, this beer would be like sitting in an electric chair. It just zaps the senses with high voltage hops beyond the point of comfortable consumption. Drink it as an "extreme" beer if you like, but don't count on subtlety.
At least you can tell Backdraft is brewed with pellets, because the leaf material of whole cone hops would have corrupted the mouthfeel at this level of hoppiness. The lack of intrusive tannic astringency with this much hop flavor could only be gained from the utilization advantage derived from hop pellets.
The rest of this ale may be described as deep amber with enough crimson blush to pass for a red ale. It has no lace and a rimmed head.
Based strictly on my own preferences, I'm grading this one at mid-range. But if you need a hardcore hop fix and you have no further use for your taste buds for the evening, this one will do.
Serving type: on-tap
10-21-2008 02:30:30 | More by RedDiamond
More User Reviews:
10 Barrel IPA from 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.