Professor Gesser's Mind Numbing Ale | Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

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Professor Gesser's Mind Numbing AleProfessor Gesser's Mind Numbing Ale

Brewed by:
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Kentucky, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
BBC's version of an India Ale Ale, named as such because of its popularity with British Troops in colonial India. The beer’s alcoholic strength and high hopping rates (hops also act as a preservative) helped it withstand the long ocean voyage from England. Brewed with lots of pale ale malt and caramelized wheat and barley, we then add large quantitites of American Columbus, Simcoe and Cascade hops. Then we allow the hot wort to run through a bed of raw hops (known as the hopback) prior to fermentation. This process adds a burst of hop aroma and flavor. Big, bold and bitter, just like Jeff Gesser.

72 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-20-2005

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Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 45
Photo of mrfrancis
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, ruddy amber with a thick, creamy off-white head. Lacing is fairly thick.

S: Mild, muted aromas of lemon, lime, bitter orange, biscuit, herbs, caramel, and pine take some time to reveal themselves on the nose.

T: Notes of lemon, lime, herbs, bitter orange, kumquat, biscuit, crackers, toffee, caramel, pine, and spruce fill the mouth. The finish combines lemon, lime, pine, spruce, and caramel flavors to great effect.

M: Medium-bodied and dry for the style. Carbonation is active and firm. Alcohol is undetectable.

O: A nice, somewhat underrated IPA. The nose is a bit uninspiring, but this is still a good beer. I could see this being a solid introductory brew for someone new to hoppier ales or a respectable go-to when better known IPAs are not available.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL courtesy of kirok1999...pours a hazed, very dark copper color. Interesting beer, darker than many an amber ale! Fine bubbled and retention is good.

Nose is very much dark fruit and burnt toffee. Hops are resinous and piney on the nostrils.

Taste is very caramely, burnt toffee and takes the east coast IPA style to the extreme. Resinous hop bitterness lends a fluffed up aspect I dont really like too much. Its fairly smooth, but not really my style that I prefer in an IPA.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

amber, nice orange hue to it. Lots of visible carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass. Upon pour a nice, two inch plus head of off white, tannish colored foam formed on top of the glass and had a very good retention to it.

Aroma was intresting, definite hop tones dominating from the start, notes of citrus as well as a piney sort of smell were both very evident from the beginning. However, there was more to it then that, in fact there was a nice malted back that made up the bulk of the aroma once it started to warm. Great first assault of piney like hops. Not extremely bitter, but rather mellow and smooth and just enough to get the ball rolling. A tremdous amount of malt then becomes apparent. Great earthen tones again, Nice sweetness, some light candy like sweetness, but primarily a dark, balancing sweetness to it. Great dry finish, lots of hops in the finish, with a somewhat lingering citrus like tone to it. Very well rounded and big. This was definatly a good one

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(edit) This can't be the same beer I'm reading in the other reviews, even though the label is near identical with just a slight name change. This beer isn't even CLOSE to thin like has been described. Not sure if I have a beer that's not logged in yet to BA or not...I'll leave it here. It's labeled as "India Pale Ale" with no mention of "mind numbing" anywhere...

I guess this is also called the "mind numbing ale"...I'm starting to hate breweries that do this: take the same beer and re-name it.

In any event: thanks to most awesome trader Brian44556 for this nice tall bottle. Cheers, mate!

Pours a divine orange-red-amber. By divine I mean, thrrough some trick of the light/sediment/brewing, this beer has the effect of creating a halo like refraction of light through the glass. It's really cool. Head that adorns this is creamy, tall and leaves excellent lacing. Heavily carbonated from the bottle conditiong. Looks fantastic. Aromas are awesome. I get some tropical fruit - pineapple and mango. A slightly soapy smell, like ones of those super-fruity liquid hand soaps. Also bubblegum. Some hints of hop extract or, absent that, dry hopping in there also. Somewhat robust at first, but they mellow out. Very nice so far.

Flavor is very much like the aroma. A sharp bubblegum-hop components reaches right out and grabs your ass. This is countered by a swift smack across the face of the carbonation that makes for a nice, creamy mouthfeel. Super-creamy feel, actually. This creaminess is long and carries through the whole drink. There are some very sweet malt characteristics that come through in the middle/late middle. Mr. hops returns with his wandering hands in the finish which is long and bitter in a good way. This is really a great beer. Only drawback is the soap-like component that kind of flits about here and there in the brew. Very nice effort. ABV is around 7% I reckon...

What I like most: The beautiful, deific appearance.

What I like least: The soapy flavor and aroma characteristic that hangs around.

Very good beer and a nice East Coast beer.

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Photo of Reaper16
2.28/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750mL bottle served into a pint glass.

Pours murky, septic shade of brown. Ugly body. half a finger of tan head with adequate lacing. Tons of sediment all throughout the body, even on a careful pour. This does not look like something you'd want to drink.

More malty than hoppy. Apart from a distant floral astringency there are not any hops on the nose of this "IPA." Stale brown malts smelling mostly of breadcrust make up the vast majority of the beer's aroma. Terrible for the style, just terrible.

The taste follows the nose, only majorly improved. It is still more malty than hoppy. Some ashy, leafy dead flowers make up the hop flavors, while the malts are vaguely nutty and toasty. It sort of tastes like Diet Barleywine. Littlefoot, if you will.

The body seems pretty thin on the tongue. It is around medium bodied for the style, it's just that the lack of hops makes me think the beer would have been thicker than it is. I am glad that it isn't. Drinkability? Terrible. I would rather drainpour this than have another glass. But I guess that if you can appreciate it as a Diet Barleywine than you might be able to stomach the whole bottle. It isn't offensive nearly as much as it is boring.

Mind Numbing Ale? I suppose so; my mind is numb trying to figure out how this beer got onto the market labeled as an IPA. This is an affordable bottle but don't even waste your time with it.

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Photo of RomaniIteDomum
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BEERchitect for this one.

Pours a very attractive dark amber color with a nice foamy head. This is a nice looking beer.

Smells quite surprisingly malty with a bit of a hoppy finish.

The taste is also quite sweet and malty. There is also a nice spiciness in the finish. Interesting.

Honestly, this beer is a little thin. It works well for the beer, I guess.

Aside from the light mouthfeel this one is quite good and pretty damn drinkable.

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Photo of Onenote81
2.19/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle received from bamadog in a recent trade. Thanks for the beer!

Poured into my pint glass. Pours a very cloudy dark copper with a thick beige head on top. Decent retention. Left some pretty sip rings on the glass. That was the best part of the beer. Scents of toffee, bread, and earth. Not what I would expect from an IPA. Hmm.

Decent body on this beer. Nice mellow smoothness with a touch of carbonation play on the tongue. Flavor is weird. Dull earthy bitterness, caramel, and a slight tart funkiness on the finish. This is strange. Not sure what I think of this beer. It's interesting, to say the least. I wouldn't go out of my way to grab this one again. Too bad, I liked the other BBC brews I've had.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a deep orange color with good carbonation and a big head. Nose is floral, malty but faint and even some grain. Taste is pretty average, not much hops here and some caramel malt but pretty average and not much going on. A little light on mouthfeel and drinkability is low.

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Photo of klewis
2.12/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Pours a hazy copper with barely a head. No lacing.

S: A light smell of toffee and hops with a bit of bathroom funk.

T: A light taste of caramel but very little flavor over all. Hop flavor is non-existent. Astringent hop bitterness wallops you over the head in the finish. This one is a mess.

M: Medium-bodied with light-moderate carbonation.

D: At $6 for a 750ml, I wasn't expecting much, but this one still disappointed. I'll pass next time.

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Photo of hopdog
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle shared courtesy of weeare138. Looking at the bottle before opening, it wasn't filled very high (foil wrapped top and appeared to have no leakage at all).

Loug audible pop as it was opened. Poured a deep and hazy amber color with a large sized off white head. Aromas of pine, oranges, caramel and vegetables (yucky). Tastes of pine, oranges, caramel, and a little grassy. Home brew looking label (when Mike brought it out, I thought it was one of his home brews although most of his labels are better than this one!).

Notes from 6/2/06

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Photo of ckeegan04
2.98/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Reddish orange color with a gargantuan head. Big time foamer here. Ended up with 1/2 beer 1/2 foam after a very gentle pour. Head slowly recedes and leaves light lacing.

S - Somewhat earthy and medicinal aroma with underlying citrus notes. Very unique aroma. A light toasted bread underneath,

T - Bready and caramel sweetness up front. Then a somewhat sour flavor comes through along with a very earthy hop taste. The sourness has hints of grapes and cherries. Very weird flavor combos. Not bad, just not good.

M/D - Medium bodied and rather smooth and creamy. The flavor brings down the drinkability a notch or two.

After two of the BBC big IPA's I can safely say I dont have the need to go back. This beer and Homewrecker DIPA were both very disapointing. I'll stick with their dependable 12oz offerings in the future.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from ABC in Ashland, KY. This beer is a mostly clear orange-amber color with a medium and fluffly light beige head that diminishes slowly. Thin rings of lacing on the glass. Mildly citric hops aroma with notes of grass. Medium-bodied and moderately hoppy at first with an underlying toasted malt character. Notes of sweet caramel and toffee become increasingly assertive throughout. The finish is mostly sweet malt with a lingering mild hops. Overall this IPA is lacking cohesiveness, it could definitely be better.

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, copper color with a small, white, bubbly head. It left lace.

S - It smelled of grapefruit and floral notes. Also, a toasted malt aroma.

T - It tasted of toffee and sweet caramel malt. It had a nice sharp kick of grapefruit flavor.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty interesting IPA. It is certainy a malt-forward IPA.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blazing bonfire orange with Champagne-like bubbles. A huge release of CO2 on crown cracking led to a slow and gentle pour... which led to at least four fingers of pale orange froth that is slowly popping and crackling its way into the atmosphere. Widely scattered fragments of watery lace are the extent of the glass coverage.

What an odd aroma for an IPA. For starters, it doesn't smell like there are many hops in the house. For finishers, there's a musty earthiness that belongs to some other beer of some other style. Professor Gesser better get a clue. And fast.

My first mouthful tells me that PGMNA is a beer that favors caramel malt at least as much as hops. That isn't the typical recipe for an American IPA, but it kinda sorta works if you prefer English IPAs. Speaking of English, the hops taste like they hail from that country. I'll go with Fuggles and East Kent Goldings. Yeah, that's probably way off.

Since each pour results in an impressive foam explosion, I'm having to wait quite a while between glassfuls... which gives me the opportunity to notice how much better the beer looks now than it did after the original pour. The appearance score has been increased accordingly.

Gesser's tastes like a lighter, lower ABV, caramel malt-dominant barleywine. The flavor profile includes English toffee, cedar chips, sandalwood, grapefruit zest, bitter orange peel and a pinch of cardamom. These guys must use some kind of whacked out yeast strain. The bitterness is cumulative and is just starting to scrub the top layer off my tongue. Sneakily bitter is what it is.

At least the frenetic carbonation of the original pour isn't manifested in the mouthfeel. The beer is lighter than the usual IPA and is actually insufficiently bubbled in the end. Definite room for improvement.

Professor Gesser's Mind Numbing Ale is now known as Professor Gesser's India Pale Ale. Damn those Feds. It's a strange elixir that is more interesting than good. At only $6.99 for the '750', it's still worth a purchase for those who want to taste an American IPA that's brewed outside the box. Waaay outside the box.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.23/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this bottle up at Liquor Barn on Shelbyville Road in Louisville. I shared this bottle w/ carlos, my brewing friend and BA buddy and Octopus87.

Decanted at just a skosh below cellar temp into my Great Lakes christmas ale glas.l

A - Deep amber w/ sunny fade that has a golden glow. The head is thick - about 3 fully expanded inches of tan tinged creaminess. The bea is fine w/ outstanding lace. The ale has a slight haze from the resinous punch of the hops

S - Sappy apricot and dried peach w/ a pine center that is woody, but sweet w/ a citrus note that is crips like tangerine w/ a subtle floral rose petal note. The malt sweetness is present and there is a hint of delicate warmth in th aroma

M - A git thick and sweet w/ moderately full to medium carbonation that lightens the dense malt that is cut w/ a bit of piney hop acidity. This makes for a somewhat balanced feel for an IIPA. Fruity and slick w/ a resinous almost sappy tongue coating nature that is very pleasant

T - the initial flavors are malty w/ sweet crystal and toasted notes that suddenly add to the taste w/ a carmel flavor . The cherry like fruit w/ a slight twiggy pine note and tannic edge w/ a bit of alcohol in the flavor. Rousing up the glass mid-taste w/ a swirl adds a bit of creaminess to the texture, but the bitterness which is slightly grassy w/ more piney essence that balances the flavor even more and gives a hint of spice the the experience and gentle yeast notes.

The flavors of bitter orange and clementine sweetness w/ an acidic bite are also up front and enjoyable. I love how eve as it is closer to cellar temp it doesn't let go, but keeps a uniform mostly balanced taste profile w/ tinges of subtle sweet grapefruit glimpses w/ more ruby red sweetness and subtle spice that allows the alcohol to seem restrained. This is a great IPA if you get to taste it certainly do.

D - I find the Professor Gesser to be a supremely drinkable IPA, but it does have a hidden strength that you mare notice if you consume more than 25.4 oz bottle that I sampled. I love that the taste is very stealth like in that it has plenty of bitterness, however it makes you think it is balanced w/ a sweet malt back and very fragrant aroma hops

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.61/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

25.4 oz. bottle. Pours a hazy copper color, with a thick, off-white, airy head. Great head retention, and lots of lace left coating the glass. Lots of streaming bubbles rising from the bottom as well.

Fruity, floral, and caramel notes in the nose. Maybe a bit of apple and banana in with the fruity notes.

Lots of caramel malt flavor, with some fruity flavors. Floral and earthy bitterness. Pretty well balanced with a solid malt base. Seems more English in style.

Medium body, not as much carbonation as I suspected from the pour. Worth a shot.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a creamy yet rocky head that pulls away from the glass but holds its shape. The body is a clear amber copper hue with a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles. The head last and last.

S- The well blended smell of toasted malt, light yeast and green hops with a light lemony hop aroma come through even as the next glass is being poured.

T- The full taste of green pine and lemon hops has a nice support from lightly toasted malt and some biscuit malt. The finish has a green pine bitterness that lingers for a good bit after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture.

D- This beer has some good green hops with a nice support of malt. The malt has nice complexity that adds an interesting nuance.

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Photo of blakesell
4.5/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into a Hefeweizen glass.

Appearance- Pours a rich golden amber with a HUGE head of froth, about 9 fingers large. Dissapates with big hard rocky bubbles. I have never seen this with an IPA. It's really acting belgian. Lacing clings to the glass and refuses to let up.

Smell- Citrus from far away from the glass. Up close, much more. There may be some hop in this beer (sarcasm). I may have some allergy to this hop as well as sniffing it made me sneeze. No real malt upfront in the scent. But pepper is there as well (hence the sneezing).

Taste- Took roughly 25 mins for this head to go down on this beer! Grapefruit with a huge crisp bitterness. Malt is there but well hidden in a doughy biscuity pepper spice.

Mouthfeel- Coating with hops and lemon pepper. I like it but it keeps making me sneeze. I'm sure it pairs great with cheesy dishes and chicken. I may end up cooking with the rest due to the sneezing.

Drinkability- Very, just I can't drink it due to some strange reaction that it looks like other BA-ers aren't getting. A pleasurable IPA/DIPA. I'll buy another because I'm a glutton for punishment.

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Photo of trep
3.21/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle.

Orange-red body with a huge bubbly vanilla head. Carbonation rises slowly. Spicy, fruity hop character, no malt to speak of. Head quickly fades to chunky bubbles.

Intense bitterness in the taste. Hardly any malt to balance it out. It's there, just hardly noticable behind the huge wall of hops. This is pretty tough to get down. Hop flavor is nice though.

Medium bodied, nicely carbonated. Not very drinkable.

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Photo of cabsandking
4.55/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Big rush of CO2 from the bottle and an astounding five finger, fluffy, bready, cream colored head that falls to a finger and half and remains to the end. The orange/copper brew wafts with aromas of juicy fruits, citric grapefruit, caramel, floral esters, and a little marshmallow. The taste is deep with dry, peppery, hop spice, grapefruit and lemon pith, green apple, and sweetness in waves of honey and aspartame that is never overpowering. Bottle conditioning reveals a nice yeasty sour dough pucker and earthy undertones. Dry character consume the finish peppery, roasted hops, and florals lingering in the background. Medium body and medium to high carbonation leaves a smooth and sometimes foamy mouthfeel depending on the swill. As it warms nutty malt notes increase and as well bigger juicy fruit notes found in the nose.

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Photo of Cresant
4.38/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this undated 25.4 oz. dark brown bottle into a Stone IPA glass. Bottle notes, "Bottle conditioned/sediment may occur". The label now reads "Professor Gesser's India Pale Ale" no more "Mind Numbing". Huge off white head overflowed my glass. The body was clear honey/copper colored. Clingy clumps of lace stick to the sides. This is an impressive looking beer.

Smell was floral, earthy. Fresh leafiness. When near room temperature tobacco aromas appeared (fitting for a Kentucky brewed beer).

Taste was grapefruit rind. There was a nice crisp bitterness. This was well balanced by a sweet maltiness. This is a very West-Coast-type of IPA (which to me is a good thing).

Mouthfeel was medium to full bodied. Zingy. Hops oils coat the mouth. Borders on DIPA classification. I recommend this offering.

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4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 25.4 ounce champange like bottle. Had to stop pouring this beer so the head wouldnt creep over the top of the glass. 3 inches of honey amber colored body hosts 4 inches of thick foamy tan head. Hints of green olives, wheat, and maybe even a bit of pickle and citrus on the nose. Sharp monster bitter is well received as it enters the mouth. For as big as this hoppy masterpiece is it is very even and well balanced. Nice long and rich on the body. A very well made IPA. Enjoyable to drink. Try it with cheese, it even mellows out even more. Wow!

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Photo of kirok1999
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark orange with a very large, frothy, light head. Moderate lacing. Smells citrus at first, slight grassy notes, and pine.
Tastes a harsh citrus and pine. Very carbonated and only slightly sweet. Huge hops, lots of bitterness and dry. Alcohol warms in the end.
Rich and lush mouthfeel. A hop bomb. Not bad but a little harsh.

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Photo of Onibubba
4.24/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'll be brief as I have already reviewed this once. I just have to reaffirm the excellence of this beer. I've had nothing else from this brewery, so I wanted to be sure the bottle I had before was not a fluke. I picked up a couple more this weekend and it most assuradely was not a fluke. This is hands down my favorite IPA or DIPA. The price is fairly ridiculous - 8.75 for a 750, but I'll be damned if it is not worth it.

Taste is pretty one diminsional, big bittersweet grapefruit, but for me it is all about the mouthfeel and the drinkability, and that gorgeous creamy frothy head. I could drink this beer all day long.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Appearance - uncapping the bottle creates an impressive rush of air, this one's loaded! A dark tangerine pour into a Belgian glass is quickly topped by four fingers of cream-colored foam. Large pockets of lace are left behind as the bubbles slowly give way. After a few minutes, there is a sloped formation in the glass like a snow-covered mound or something. Additional pours even things out but the head maintains a solid and thick cover.

Aroma - sweet citrus and pine with a definite heaviness as if saturated with hop aroma. Settles down after a bit to allow some toasty biscuit aromas to come through.

Taste - starts out sweet with some fruity citrus, malty with caramel tones. The swallow brings out the hops. Big time. Like concentrated grapefruit oil, the bitterness sets up pretty quickly and lingers quite well. An intensely bitter beer, approaching medicinal. Ruination-caliber palate destruction. Ends kind of warm from the alcohol and I think I singed a few tastebuds as well. Gets much better as the 'numbing' ensues. Once my tongue was pounded into submission from the relentless hops, this tasted better. I like it but this is more to the liking of the incurable hophead.

Mouthfeel - syrupy thickness and very carbonated. Putting it into a goblet does it proper justice, I think it deserves better than a pint glass. A big bodied beer.

Drinkability - limited drinkability for me. If I had an IPA tasting, this one's in, but just for myself, I don't think so.

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Professor Gesser's Mind Numbing Ale from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
3.63 out of 5 based on 45 ratings.
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