Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Oskar Blues Gubna

It’s amazing when brewers do so much with relatively simple recipes. Case in point: Oskar Blues Gubna, an imperial IPA made with only three malts and a single hop variety. It’s got a bold palate that’s a little different than most, but just as flavorful and delectable as the classics of the style.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Chad9976 (744) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 24, 2012
I poured a 12oz can into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Dull hazy orange color. Pours to a huge off-white, frothy head which leaves plenty of lacing on the glass and sticks around indefinitely.

Smell: One of the sweetest IPAs I can recall smelling. Orange sherbet and hard candy sweetness with a subtle, but discernible scent of rye bread.

Taste: I find that Colorado brewers really like to emphasize the malts in their IPAs, which is a bit strange. Not that Oskar Blues Gubna is a dopplebock with hops, just that you don’t usually encounter a beer like this with such prominent malt character that really works. There’s a dank bitterness as soon as the beer hits the tongue, yet is sweet. It actually reminds me of bittersweet chocolate, which sounds illogical, but considering the beer is brewed with German Dark Munich Malt this is understandable. Through the middle comes a mixture of resin and citrus flavors plus a spicy bite from the rye malt. It’s an interesting yin-yang balance of rich sticky sweetness and crisp tartness. The finish ends with that orange sherbet flavor found in the nose with an aftertaste that’s only mildly dry and definitely not cloying.

This is a really impressive brew for a lot of reasons, especially considering how simple the recipe is. The use of Summit hops is quite notable as well it’s not a variety you tend to hear too much about, and certainly not for a single hop brew. While not quite as absolutely delicious as some of my favorite double IPAs, this one is worth seeking out as any craft beer enthusiast with a refined palate is going to enjoy it.

Drinkability: I went into this beer with some hesitation due to the fact it’s 10% ABV, as that can often equate to a boozy sipper. Nothing could be further from the truth with Oskar Blues Gubna. The mouthfeel is thick, full-bodied, soft, but not sticky or fizzy. There is no alcohol smell or taste at all, which makes it a little too drinkable, actually. I felt like I could throw back several of these in one sitting, although the buzz I got after the first can was quite satisfying.
 Grade: 9/10

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