People that know me well know that I have followed beer for all of my adult life. It’s interesting to note, though, that beer follows me, too. I can’t seem to get away from the stuff. Take the other night, for example. I was minding my own business, watching an episode of Alaska State Troopers with the wife. In the show, a guy gets pulled over for some reason I can’t recall, and the officer asks him if he has had anything to drink (it always turns out the driver has, but then that’s because they don’t show you the cases where they haven’t). Anyway, the guy responds that yes, he has had two IPAs.
See what I mean? In any case, the comment struck me because, well, when IPA is now common enough to end up on a semi-frozen version of Cops, you know the style has made it into popular culture. And it really has; today we not only see a plethora of examples of the style (every brewery seems to make one), but also imperial and double IPAs and India Dark Ales and, the latest craze, specialty IPAs.
Enter Seattle’s Elysian brewing and their Manic IPA series of special brews. These beers showcase a single hop variety, and in the case of the beer I’m drinking this evening, Elysian Idiot Sauvin IPA, that’s the Nelson Sauvin variety from New Zealand. Unlike other showcase beers, though, this isn’t a single-hopped beer, as Chinooks are also used for bittering. That may seems strange, but consider that Nelson Sauvins are prized more for the fruitness they impart and less for bitterness.
Idiot Sauvin IPA is based on Elysian’s Savant IPA recipe with the aforementioned hop variance. Of course, the name is also a play on the term “idiot savant”. The beer has 66 IBUs and 6.3% alcohol by volume. Elysian beers are not sold in Georgia, and though I have had them in Seattle before I got my bottle of Idiot Sauvin through letspour.com for about $6.99 as I recall.
Elysian Idiot Sauvin IPA pours to an orange amber color with a thick creamy head formation and a bright citrusy hop nose. Good caramel and toasted malt appear up front as I sip, followed by hoppy grapefruit and tropical passion fruit flavor and aroma, some resiny pine, and then a big herbal hop aroma and impressive bitterness in the finish. That finish is very long and very dry, lingering on the tongue for quite some time.
A very good everyday IPA, refreshing in this day of uber imperial ipas. It’s nice to have one you can just pull on regularly over an evening with lots of flavor, and perhaps enjoy with s spicy meal.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.