Oskar Blues IPA…why have I never had this before? I’ve had quite a few beers from Oskar Blues in my day, but I was intrigued when I saw this India Pale Ale on tap at Taco Mac. So, I ordered a mug. Normally, I would wait until a little later in the review to regale you with my tasting notes, but for this beer we’re going to mix things up a bit. So, here are the notes I took:
Oskar Blues IPA pours to a bright orange color with a thick fluffy head of foam and bitter grapefruit rind and light resin in the nose. Taking a sip I get light to medium caramel malt in the palate, more of the grapefruit peel the nose promised, some resiny pine and a very long, very dry bitterness that lingers on the tongue long after drinking.
A nice beer then! Yes it is, but here’s how Oskar Blues describes it on their website:
A Metamodern IPA conceived of hand selected hops from down under. Malt barley and red wheat combine to create a clean malt backbone with foolproof flavor and mouthfeel to support the main act of Enigma, Vic Secret, Ella, Topaz and Galaxy hops. The hops strum juicy and sweet aromas with headline notes of passion fruit, raspberries, pineapple and citrus. This straight-up strain is Oskar Blues IPA…. (To each their own til we go home.
So the red wheat explained the slightly lighter maltiness here (still a good backbone though, don’t worry), but it was the hops that intrigued me, so I decided to do some research. After all, I didn’t really get the passion fruit, the raspberry, the pineapple-I did get the citrus, though.
So, first of all Enigma hops. Hops.com/AU describes them as follows:
Typical descriptors don’t work very well for Enigma™. Our formal tasting sessions have given us interesting terms like ‘Pinot Gris’, ‘raspberries’, and ‘redcurrant’, through to rock melon and light tropical fruit. We don’t feel that any of these are really adequate, but we do know that the flavours and aromas are irresistibly appealing!
OK, so they mention raspberries and tropical fruit, but they don’t even seem too sure about what they’re getting. So maybe that’s why I didn’t get any raspberries. On to the Vic Secret hops. Never heard of those before, either. Hops.com/AU again is my reference; they say these have been around since 2011 but more commonly used since 2013. They mention distinct pineapple and pine characters; there’s my resin (some of it anyway), though I didn’t get pineapple.
Ella, Topaz, and Galaxy are known to me. These can impart resiny, Earthy and even citrus and tropical fruit elements to a beer. How they’re used (early addition/late addition/dry hopping) has a lot to do with this.
In any event, these are all Australian hop varieties, and I liked this beer very much.
Oskar Blues IPA has an alcohol content of 6.4% by volume with 70 IBUs. I paid $6 for a pint at Taco Mac, and it sells for $9.99 a six-pack in cans locally.
Has Oskar Blues ever done a beer I didn’t like? I don’t think so. Add Oskar Blues IPA to the list of great beers from this great Colorado (and North Carolina) brewer.
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.