Home > Imperial/Double IPA, India Pale Ale > Pure Hoppiness (327 of 1001)

Pure Hoppiness (327 of 1001)

Rating: 4.6

Another beer from the 1001 beers list now and what will be my 327th from the book so far, this one is a mega-hopped beer from the Alpine Beer Company based in Alpine, California and it’s one that I’m really looking forward too. Originally brewed in 2000 by brewery owner and founder Patrick McIlhenny at a time when there was not a recognised double IPA category, the beer was an attempt to brew a beer for his wife that was too bitter for her palate, Pure Hoppiness was a failed attempt but apparently a very good one; I’m hoping it is anyway. It was actually first brewed two years before McIlhenny opened the brewery, originally using equipment at the AleSmith brewery to make his beers. This one is actually mentioned in the 1001 beer book as being brewed in small batches that usually sell out and that it is quite a difficult beer to get hold of, I’m not sure if that can still be considered the case but regardless, when I spotted that my local bottle shop had a few of them in I quickly paid them a visit and grab myself a bottle to give it a try; luckily I snagged the last bottle they had as well. Since 2014 the brewery had been owned by Green Flash brewery and I guess that is part of the reason I’ve been able to find this one in the UK now, although Green Flash beers aren’t exactly well-distributed here so perhaps I just got lucky with this one. Currently ranked as the 77th best double IPA on the BeerAdvocate website, the beer is one that I can’t wait to crack open and see how it tastes.

Pure Hoppiness

Appearance (5/5): A light, amber tinged golden colour that is bright and topped with qutie a fluffly and thick looking white head that boarders on cream and leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass too. Head retention is very good and there was zero movement or reduction in size over at all, whilst plenty of fine bubbles rose to the surface of the beer.
Aroma (8/10): Very fresh and tropical on the nose with good sweetness and quite a juicy aroma early on whilst the pine and grapefruit you’d expect from this style of beer feature as well. There was some good bitterness with hints of citrus before the malt base of the beer started to show itself around the middle. There was a good few grain and very faint alcohol showing towards the end along with orange too. Some minimal caramel and bread malts make cameo appearances as well and the beer held a good balance on the nose to boot without being overly strong.
Taste (9/10): Definitely a bitter tasting beer, this one opened up with strong pine and tropical fruit flavours that consisted mainly of pineapple but also some good apricot and mango flavours. The beer was amazing on the taste buds with a very good, malty base that had hints of caramel and some pleasant bread malts coming through alongside a touch of grain and some further, nondescript sweetness. There some nice resinous pine and hints of alcohol towards the end but quite simply, this was an excellent tasting beer from the very start.
Palate (5/5): A very smooth, almost fluffy beer that had a medium body and thanks to the strong pine bitterness, it was quite a dry and sharp beer. Carbonation levels were about medium and there was a slightly warming feel thanks to the alcohol but overall the beer was very well balanced and really easy to drink too.

Overall (18/20): This one was an outstanding beer, I had been expecting a good one when I opened it up but it easily exceeded my expectations and turned out to be one of the best double IPA’s that I’ve tried. There was a huge pine and tropical fruit bitterness with some good citrus flavours featuring as well and all of this sat of top of a well-rounded, sweet malt base that complimented the bitterness well. I really enjoyed this beer and I’m hoping it’s one that I’ll come across again because I wouldn’t think twice about picking it up again; excellent stuff.

Brewed In: Alpine, California, United States of America
Brewery: Alpine Beer Company
First Brewed: 2000
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 8.0%
Serving: Bottle (355ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £4.90

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