This week I've got a beer named after the end of the world and one from our neighbors to the North for you to try.
First up, 10 Barrel's Apocalypse IPA.
10 Barrel Brewing Company started in Bend, Oregon and has since grown to four locations (two in Bend, one in Portland, OR, and one in Boise, ID). They are a small brewery that has been "living beer" since 2006. Unfortunately, most people outside of the Northwest haven't heard of them yet. I wanted to change that, as they have made one hell of a beer.
Apocalypse IPA isn't just for the end of the world. Which is a good thing since this beer emits a smell of cherries, hops, and tropical fruits that is to die for! Its light golden color comes with a dash of a reddish tint and is topped with just the tiniest bit of foam.
It starts with a short, bubbly attack up front but that fades almost immediately into a subtle, easy to drink beer. The malts and hops working in perfect harmony. It's no wonder that this is 10 Barrel's flagship beer.
The cherries and fruit come out the somewhat in the beer but even their tastes are rather subtle and just there to help take out the hop-sting. Nothing is overpowering, nothing overwhelms your taste buds. It all just works in this awesome symphony of flavor.
The bottle says that Apocalypse has 70 IBU but it's so smooth, and goes down so easy, that it was hard to believe there were any hops in this beer. Even the aftertaste of this beer was pleasant. There was no alcohol burn (it's only 6.5%), there was no hoppy bitterness, only a sweet, semi-fruity flavor.
However, towards the bottom of the glass, the hop-sting begins to show itself. The vast majority of the beer is really easy to drink and has very little bitterness...but those 70 IBU did show up at the end. Not that it took anything away from the beer in my mind.
10 Barrel is not available nationwide yet but that needs to change. This is an awesome take on the West Coast IPA and is a new favorite of mine. It's even priced right at just $3.99 for a 22 ounce bomber!
I already really wanted to go to Oregon to try beers but this is the push I needed to actually plan my pilgrimage out there. 9/10
My other beer this week is from one of Canada's most well known brewery - Unibroue.
Unibroue is one of the most well known Canadian breweries. Located in Québec, they began back in 1991 and quickly rose to prominence, becoming available in the US and Europe just three years later. Today they are available in most states, but to see if they're near you, here's their beer finder.
Éphémère is a white ale brewed with apple juice, coriander, and orange peel. The apple is immediately noticeable when opened. But it's odd as, from afar, the smell of apples filled the room but up close it smells like your traditional farmhouse ale.
A good two fingers of growing foam topped the cloudy, golden beer. The head was there for the long run too, as it is the thick, cloudy white type of foam that takes forever to dissipate. For as much head as there was, I was surprised that there was very little lacing left around the glass as you drink it.
At first taste, Éphémère bubbles in your mouth for a second before giving way to a nice, slightly sweet taste. You get the Belgian yeast taste, plenty of apple, with the coriander and orange flavors hiding in the background.
The aftertaste reminds me of a green Jolly Rancher, which I find delightful, and remains on your tongue for a little while. The warmer the beer gets, or the more of it you drink, the tarter the taste becomes - the Granny Smith apples really showing themselves there.
Overall, Éphémère is an easy beer to drink - it's rather smooth with a nice flavor to it. With just 10 IBU, the only bitterness comes from the tart apple flavor (if at all). It's only 5.5% ABV and so the only real deterrent is the price (which still isn't too bad). Éphémère is priced at $7.99 for a 750 mL bottle (25.4 ounces). It's a solid choice from a brewery I don't frequent too often. 8/10