I'm a hop head. I know a lot of beer-drinkers with really great taste that don't care for IPAs. That's fine and to each his own. I happen to really like Double IPAs when I can get a hand on them. With more hops and alcohol than the standard IPA, these "Imperials" are like a regular IPA on steroids and essentially provide all of the same characteristics that a normal IPA does but Imperials just provides them in more vibrant abundance. I'm a firm believer that less is more in most venues, but IPAs are not one of those venues.
So consider my surprise when I found Green Flash Brewing's Green Bullet Triple IPA. While it's been out since late 2011, this was my first exposure to it. It was a no-doubter when I saw it on the shelf and I popped the top as soon as it got cold. Here's what you can expect:
- Appearance: a nice, cloudy, golden carmel (4.5)
- Smell: abundant hops, pine, spice and ripe fruit (4)
- Taste: hops, sweet citrus, apricot, mango (4)
- Mouthfeel: smoother than anticipated, medium-plus body, a stingingly-bitter aftertaste (3.5)
- Overall: a unique hop blend of Pacific and New Zealand hops work together to bring a new taste to the palate. Although this beer is extremely hopped, including dry-hopped, it's relatively balanced as there are some sweet notes to accompany the epic bitterness created by the hops. (4.25)
This is yet another feather in the cap of San Diego IPA's, in my opinion. I've said it before, but there's something to the San Diego IPA's that are just irresistable. I've really enjoyed a handful of them over the last several months, including Ballast Point's Sculpin IPA, Alesmith Brewing's Alesmith IPA and now this effort from Green Flash. The San Diego beer scene is worth visiting all on its own and you've got to check it out if you get the chance.
Is this triple IPA too much? Not at all if you love hops as much as I do. The Green Bullet is surprisingly well-balanced considering the amount of hops used in the beer. It still profiles as an obvious Imperial, but it's pleasant and enjoyable. Just make sure you don't have any important business to attend to immediately following your drinking of this beer, because at 10.1% ABV, you're not going to get a lot of quality work done!