I decided to take a departure from the Belgian series of BruRevu and review an Imperial IPA. But, Joel, you may ask how can you take a departure from a series when you’ve only done one BruRevu so far? Shut up. This is my show. Basically, I decided to place my other two Ommegang bottles in the fridge to chill for several days, to allow the yeast to cake on the bottoms tighter.
This review will be of a brewery I recently discovered on a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia. My wife and I were at a local restaurant in Williamsburg and found some beers from Williamsburg Alerwerks on tap. When we checked out, there was a pamphlet announcing brewery tours. Well, it didn’t take bt a glance between us to know what we were doing the next day. This bottle was purchased on-site at the brewery and hand-carried home to be placed in my bar for later. Each year, Williamsburg Alewerks sets aside an equal number of bombers to the year and individually numbers them. This bottle was 390 of 2008 (which means it was bottled in 2008).
Eyes: Ironbound Imperial India Pale Ale pours with a deep ruby/caramel color that develops a thick, golden, almost souffle-like head. It took three pours and some painful waiting to fill the Williamsburg Alerwerks glass we also picked up during our tour. The color is rich and deep, but not dark.
Nose: The base of the nose is caramel; supporting a sweet malt and hoppy perfume. Somewhat resiny without being overly of pine. Maybe a little other-woodsy?
Tongue: Less-bitter than other IPA or Double IPAs I have had recently. I think the malt backbone of this compensates for the hops, which are definitely there and strong. There is no solvency or excessive alcohol, which is good for a 9 percent ABV beer. The caramel is so creamy, it’s almost milk-chocolate-like.
Mouth: Chewy and full. There is plenty of residual malt to this beer, which gives a mouth that masks some of the hoppy “tooth enamel stripping” characters in other hob-bomb beers. There is also a fullness that I also experienced in their coffee-house stout. I would have initially put “smoky” in the flavor category, but there is an after-mouth of smokiness that doesn’t really present in the flavor. Not chalky. Difficult to describe. It leaves you wanting to follow-up with another sip.
Overall: This is a beer for autumn! The colors are evocative of piles of leaves waiting to be jumped in, just like I can’t wait to jump into another pint. The Unfortunately, this was the only bottle I grabbed. Next trip to Willamsburg, I am stocking up!
Bonus, here are some photos of the brewery. We were surprised to find it tucked away in a somewhat industrial park area. But don’t let the modest setting fool you. These guy pour some serious pints!