Bitter Imperials

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by bitterbeer, Jan 9, 2021.

  1. bitterbeer

    bitterbeer Initiate (13) Jan 9, 2021 New York

    Hi all,

    Suggestions please for BITTER Imperial Ipa and Imperial Stout and Imperial Porter.

    Little to no sweetness, no milks, no sugars.

    Strong, simple, bitter beer only!

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,458) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    Moylan's Hopsickle.
     
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  3. bitterbeer

    bitterbeer Initiate (13) Jan 9, 2021 New York

    Thank you Bitterbill.
    Will check out for sure.
     
  4. DrStiffington

    DrStiffington Meyvn (1,108) Oct 27, 2010 New Jersey

    Stone Enjoy By
    Firestone Walker Double Jack
     
  5. bitterbeer

    bitterbeer Initiate (13) Jan 9, 2021 New York

    Looks good, Doc. Thanks.
     
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  6. MichaelInMA

    MichaelInMA Initiate (57) Apr 24, 2016 Massachusetts

    It is hard to find an Imperial Stout that is not bitter. It more or less goes with he style and one of the reasons it has to be aged. I found my first fresh one that was not bitter it was a Surly RIS. Since I was not home with my cellar I was pleasantly surprised. It was not sweet either. I was just like a mellow nicely aged RIS.
     
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  7. Stignacious

    Stignacious Defender (674) Aug 24, 2011 New York

    Something old-school, Dogfish Head 90-minute.

    If you can find fresh Sixpoint Resin, I always thought that was super piney and pithey. Where in NY are you? That might help guide recommendations. Most local/regional craft follow market trends, but every now and again you find a smaller operation making an IBU bomb.
     
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  8. bitterbeer

    bitterbeer Initiate (13) Jan 9, 2021 New York

    Will certainly check out Surly.
     
  9. bitterbeer

    bitterbeer Initiate (13) Jan 9, 2021 New York

    Have always loved Resin - point in case. Piney and dry, bitter, perfect abv. Nothing too similar upstate though.
     
  10. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,143) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    It’s hard for most any beer over 12% to still be aggressively bitter. Just from my experiences.
     
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  11. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,625) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Damn, yes, it’s been long here, but was wan my TGI Friday beer, took the steam right out of you.

    Without making a second post; Mongo as well, forget the brewery.
     
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  12. YamBag

    YamBag Initiate (174) Feb 2, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Resin and Dirt Wolf. Both brewed at Victory now. Freshness is the key for both and unfortunately can even be a challenge living 10 minutes from the brewery
     
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  13. bitterbeer

    bitterbeer Initiate (13) Jan 9, 2021 New York

    True - looking for very bitter in the sweet spot abv 8 - 12%.
     
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  14. bitterbeer

    bitterbeer Initiate (13) Jan 9, 2021 New York

    Thanks! Will hunt for it.
     
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  15. bitterbeer

    bitterbeer Initiate (13) Jan 9, 2021 New York

    Ah - bitterness dissipates longer it sits on shelf?
     
  16. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,625) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Agree it’s tough to get much over 9%-10 and retain the bitter, even at that level really bitter won’t happen.
     
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  17. Stignacious

    Stignacious Defender (674) Aug 24, 2011 New York

    Throw in the third head of that "cooperative" monstrosity, and include Southern Tier.

    Thinking back to the initial post, I still think that 2XIPA is bitter, even after the reformulation from a couple of years ago. I saw Unearthly came back as well, but as a Triple, I'm not necessarily sure if it would fit the OP's personal parameters because it's been redone and was a bit on the boozey-sweet side beforehand.
     
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  18. Stignacious

    Stignacious Defender (674) Aug 24, 2011 New York

    It really depends on where you are Upstate. The Hudson Valley is all about NEIPA, but Cannon Call, from Big Ditch in Buffalo is close to a west coast double, and if you're close to Rochester, Three Heads and Rohrbach are always churning out variations of older and newer school IPA and stout
     
  19. bitterbeer

    bitterbeer Initiate (13) Jan 9, 2021 New York

    Thanks! Hudson Valley for sure. Just notice that strong IPA’s are headed in milkshake, super sugary, sweet, tropical direction. Definitely prefer 9-11%abv, clear, piney, bitter. When it comes to Stouts/Porters, same abv preference, and bitter - no milk, cream, sugar. Sturdy, clean, simple, strong on all. Seems only a few in demand.
     
  20. bitterbeer

    bitterbeer Initiate (13) Jan 9, 2021 New York

    Loved Unearthly, and yes 2X a good choice.
     
  21. bitterbeer

    bitterbeer Initiate (13) Jan 9, 2021 New York

    Brewers take note of the challenge!
     
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  22. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,625) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Well they could of course hit any abv they choose, but they need to sell what they brew too, if the beers not stellar it’s impossible to sell. Adding more bettering hops you need more malt to balance that out, the sugars in the malt convert to alcohol,It’s why you don’t find too many DIPAS much over 8%, they want some balance to their beers. Seems like you looking for a Session kinda bitterness at non session abv levels. Hopsjckle and Mongo are as big and as bitter as I’ve had, I’d also include Neshaminy Brewings Shape of Hops To Come, they bumped up the abv to 9+.
     
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  23. BruChef

    BruChef Initiate (161) Nov 8, 2009 New York

    Is this thread from 2008? I’d say it’s much harder to find a bitter RIS or IPA these days. Not the other way around as stated. Brewers don’t make beers like this because these flavors have fallen out of favor or are not desired by the more “modern”beer drinkers in America.

    Plus it’s not difficult to make a bitter RIS over 10%. Just using more roasted barley and chocolate malt and more early additions of bittering hops. Also, more and more brewers are going the cold steep route for dark/specialty grains because they tend to not draw out the “harsher” characteristics that can be associated with them such as the tannins that can make darker beers roasty and bitter.

    Just remembered that Stone sublimely self righteous is making a return. That and other high gravity black ipas should hit your sweet spot.
     
  24. sulldaddy

    sulldaddy Poo-Bah (3,818) Apr 6, 2003 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    Not a style mentioned by OP, but Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine is pretty bitter fresh each year. Also a bit hot with alcohol too, but it is a bitter beer IMO.

    I went back and read my review of Sierra Nevada Narwhal 2020 vintage and I found it dark bakers chocolate bitter, so that may scratch your bitter itch too.

    Good luck on your quest!
     
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  25. Whyteboar

    Whyteboar Zealot (505) Jun 7, 2008 Michigan
    Society Trader

    I find Yeti Imperial Stout to be too bitter for me to enjoy, your mileage may differ.
     
  26. bitterbeer

    bitterbeer Initiate (13) Jan 9, 2021 New York

    Big thanks! Will seek out Narwhal.
     
  27. bitterbeer

    bitterbeer Initiate (13) Jan 9, 2021 New York

    You nailed it. Yeti Imperial Stout that perfect, unusual balance - though sometimes hard to find.
     
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  28. bitterbeer

    bitterbeer Initiate (13) Jan 9, 2021 New York

    Ha- some tastes keep keepin on, 2008 - death. Thanks for the black IPAS suggestion.
     
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  29. sulldaddy

    sulldaddy Poo-Bah (3,818) Apr 6, 2003 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    I see what you did there......well played on a bitter beer thread!! :slight_smile:
     
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  30. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,634) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Old Rasputin is a pleasantly bitter ris
     
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  31. Tilley4

    Tilley4 Poo-Bah (2,289) Nov 13, 2007 Tennessee
    Society Trader

    Ruination is/was bitter as hell.
     
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  32. bitterbeer

    bitterbeer Initiate (13) Jan 9, 2021 New York

    Absolutely, spot-on: top in its class. Would love to see some contenders exemplifying that style.
     
  33. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,802) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Yeti is bitter...er than raspy. Some other beers to consider would be Avery Hog Heaven if it's still brewed. It's a great American barleywine that is unusually dry for the style. Pliny is bitter by today's standards. Epic day from eddyline in CO is a great beer as well. Maybe some of the Melvin DIPAs as well.
     
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  34. seakayak

    seakayak Defender (682) May 20, 2007 Massachusetts
    Society

    For assertive, resiny hop bitterness, try Avery's Maharaja Imperial IPA!
     
  35. bitterbeer

    bitterbeer Initiate (13) Jan 9, 2021 New York

    Thank you!
     
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  36. BruChef

    BruChef Initiate (161) Nov 8, 2009 New York

    Sometimes I wish it was still 2008. For beer and many other things.
     
  37. Ranbot

    Ranbot Defender (643) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Arrogant Bastard is my recommendation.

    For what it's worth, sub-8% beers are often more bitter than higher ABVs. Creating a high ABV beer takes extra malt to ferment to alcohol, which leaves residual [unfermented] sugars that off-set the bitterness of hops (and vice-versa). At around 100 IBUs people cannot physically perceive any more bitterness, which means there's a point that no amount of bittering hops can overcome the residual sugars of a high ABV beer.

    Lessons learned from the IBU Wars of the aughts.
     
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  38. MichaelInMA

    MichaelInMA Initiate (57) Apr 24, 2016 Massachusetts

    Why do they call it Ruination? Because the after taste will last about 4 hours. It will totally ruin your taste buds.

    Years ago I went to a bar often that had Ruination on tap. I could beleive the joke above. It was like drinking liquid hops. I had some a couple of months ago and it did not seem nearly as strong as the memories. I think we have gotten used to drinking really hoppy beers. Ruination may be the same but our criteria has changed. Or, maybe I am old and burnt out.
     
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  39. WCKDVBZ

    WCKDVBZ Meyvn (1,080) May 9, 2014 South Carolina


    Imperial Stouts: Bell's Expedition and 35th Anniversary Expedition Stout Reserve , Founders Imperial Stout, North Coast Old Rasputin, Great Divide Yeti, Sierra Nevada Narwhal, Victory Storm King.
     
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  40. MichaelInMA

    MichaelInMA Initiate (57) Apr 24, 2016 Massachusetts

    Second on Victory Storm King. It is one of the few that I have found that does not cellar well. It tastes just as bad fresh as it does after a few years.
     
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