23 May 2010

Oskar Blues GUBNA

Oskar Blues GUBNA (can)
Longmont, CO
10.0% ABV

Canned beer. It's cheaper to manufacture, lighter to ship, easier to stack, and just generally an all-around great packaging decision. And yet still I have an emotional connection of sorts to bottled beer -- it's classic, feels great in the hand, and I can re-use the glass for my homebrews. Logically I have to admit that it makes perfect sense to use cans, but it's just hard to give up the love of the bottle.

Oskar Blues is a brewery that's been fighting the stigma of cans since the beginning. So far as I know, they've never bottled a single one of their beers. Other than a sample of two at a tasting a few years back, I've never had a chance to really dig into one of their brews, so when I found it when I was in Franklin, TN last week, I bought a few for review.

Harder to pour from a can than a bottle. I always have to fight that little bit of dribble. I'd probably get better with practice. Pours very hazy orange body with a thick white foamy head that dissipates quickly, leaving a lot of soapscum. Smells strongly of citrus, mostly oranges, with a very strong hop bite. Some bready malt background. Very complex nose.

Flavor is much like the nose, strong citrus character with a persistent hoppiness. Very sweet and fruity on the back-end, with a dry and hoppy aftertaste. Lots of bready malt and even hints of yeast. Mouthfeel is thicker than expected, with moderate carbonation and heavy hops (obviously).

This is a very nice DIPA, much more complex than anticipated, and a very well-balanced example of the style. Enough hops to satisfy even the most dedicated hophead, but with a lot of sweetness and malt to balance it out. One of the better DIPAs I've had lately, if not ever.

My overall BA rating: 4.4/5

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