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Mikkeller 1000 IBU

I stopped by The Four Firkins last night for a lovely Breckenridge tasting and was ecstatic to hear that they had gotten in a brew that I have been waiting to show up in our market for close to a year. I have always loved the adventurous spirit of Mikkel Bjergsø, Mikkeller’s brewer and 1000 IBU is a prefect example of it. While some will be quick to argue that 1000 IBU is simply a theoretical measurement and nothing but a marketing gimmick, I say enough with the fretting. You can also read Mikkel’s response if you’re interested.  It is true that most humans have a hard time detecting bitterness over 100 IBU and various research suggests that the maximum theoretical IBU is far below 200 simply due to solubility issues. Regardless I think one of the best things about brewing is experimentation and having fun with it so the more the merrier, it is after all just a name. As you may know Mikkeller does not have their own brewery (Mikkel calls himself a gypsy-brewer) and this treat was brewed at the De Proef Brewery in Belgium. I believe that this batch is about two months old and it is definitely the kind of beer you want to drink as soon as possible to ensure as little deterioration of hops as possible. This bottle cost about $15 and consists of a 12.7 oz bottle wrapped with  labeled paper that when opened reveals a green corked bottle with the same label affixed which depicts a burglar with a bag of hops. Pours a dark hazy almost muddy medium brown hue, containing a small amount of sediment that floats to the bottom of the glass. Upon pouring down the middle of my glass I was immediately greeted by over 5 fingers of tight off white bubbles that slowly open up eventually dissipating but leaving a good deal of lacing and about 2 millimeters of bubbles around the glass and a little island of carbonation on the surface of the beer. I believe this Imperial IPA was bottled one to two months ago and I can’t wait to experience it’s hop aroma. Smells strongly of a myriad of hoppy esters; blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, orange, mango and other citrus esters, massive earthy notes and a bit of pine. Serious bitterness in the nose and a solid dose of alcohol. In addition to hops there is also a very notable malt base to this brew with a number of bready esters and just a hint of caramel. This beer tastes of every thing it smells like and is far more like eating actual hops than any brew I have ever consumed before. A nice, mildly sweet bready malt base that contains a gentle creaminess helps contrast the absurd hop content as to not simply kill you with bitterness. Earthy hop esters are very strong with pine, orange and even pineapple like notes playing a central role. This beer is very bitter but not as overwhelming as I had expected making it surprisingly drinkable.  Alcohol is noticeable but not overly offensive considering its 9.6% ABV. Body is medium and mothfeel is quite carbonated but still smooth due to a gentle malty creaminess present. While I am very curious how much exactly of what varieties of hops were used in this brew I still find it very impressive how much hop flavor is present in this brew without making it simply consist of pure bitterness. One solid massively hoppy brew that is no joke and probably the most insanely hoppy of the style so far. Not a beer to drink every day (even if you could find that much of it) but certainly worth trying if you enjoy insanely hoppy Imperial IPAs. I’m uncertain if anyone in the city still has this brew in stock but I would certainly recommend calling around if this sounds like something you would enjoy. If you don’t like hops obviously you shouldn’t bother with this beer. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Mikkeller 1000 IBU

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