English philosopher Thomas More first wrote about the utopia. More’s definition of the utopia has evolved over the years, but essentially, it is your ideal place. And if you’re reading this blog, I’m sure your ideal place has beer in it. Alpine Beer Co. from the sunshine state of California might have been inspired by More’s concept of utopia by creating a brew called Pure Hoppiness. What better beer to drink while you’re experiencing pure happiness? (Get it?… the play on words?…) Will this beer be in my hand when I’m daydreaming during Sunday mass, jury duty, or work meetings? Time to run the numbers…
Smell: Dank, grapefruit, resin, pine, citrus, tropical fruits, mango, unreal smell… not too tropical and sweet with a big presence of dank hops. I think it’ll be great based off of smell alone.
Taste: Maltier than expected. After all that going on in the nose, this IPA seems to be grain forward, at least that’s the biggest flavor I got on the first sip. Not a lot of tropical notes in the beer, but more of that piney dankness that I grab from the smell. A big hop blast hits you mid palate, while the sweetness of the malt jumps out at the begininning. What this beer really lacks is a finish. After the hop hit, it just kind of falls flat. The stinging bitterness that usually sticks around on the sides of the tongue after drinking a double IPA is really nowhere to be seen. That said, it’s pretty drinkable for a DIPA as there’s really nothing that’s assertive in the finish. However, this brew remains in the doldrums after you swallow.
The carbonation is fine in this beer and there is just a slight bit of alcohol stickiness that coats the mouth. For 8% the booze is decently hidden and it’s medium bodied for the style.
Overall: This beer is good, just not great. The nose was very promising, however that was easily the best part of this brew. The flavor was good, but the lack of a finish was disappointing and the assertive hoppiness I expected out of a beer called Pure Hoppiness was not overtly present. Overall, this beer gets a B+. A little too much malt, much too little bitterness. Not in my utopia.