Opening their doors in 2013, Bale Breaker Brewing Co. was founded in Yakima, Washington by fourth-generation hop farmers. The family first planted hops all the way back in 1932 and now, after a few nearly a century, have the longest running hop farm in the Valley - Loftus Ranches - and also own Tributary Hop Farms in nearby Granger. Bale Breaker has a 30 barrel brewhouse, seven year-round brews, and a second location in Seattle.
Today I have one of those seven staples that they brew, their Imperial IPA - Bottomcutter.
Bottomcutter is brewed with 2-Row, C-10, Carapils, Munich malts and features a hefty dose of Citra, Ekuanot, and Simcoe hops with some Mosaic and Warrior hops added in for good measure. It rocks an 8.2% ABV and has 100 IBUs…bringing me back to my early days of hopped up brews. If you live in Washington, you can buy a case of this from the brewery for $56 (only $2.30 per can!) but, since I don’t live in their distro range, I paid about $5 for the 12-ounce can I found.
This DIPA poured an orangey copper color and had a bit of haze to it, making it mostly opaque. About a finger and a half of eggshell white head built up. It was pretty dense and stuck around for a while before slowly fizzling down into a small accumulation of bubbles around the edge and a thin dusting across the top.
The aroma was resinous and hoppy. It featured notes of pithy grapefruit and citrus rind, a sticky dankness, and some ample notes of pine. It was a classic Imperial West Coast IPA that brought me back to the days of drinking massive hop bombs from Stone, Lagunitas, and Green Flash.
My first sip started with a mild rush of carbonation before the hops rained down on my taste buds. It began with a surprisingly light bitterness, not nearly as heavy as I was expecting, that matched the lighter mouthfeel and body of the beer.
What little hoppy bite there was, was quickly tamed by the sweet and rather juicy flavors of orange and grapefruit. Some light lemon could be seen peeking out every now and then as well.
After a moment or two, the hops turned from fruity to their more earthier counterparts. This is where some of those piney and herbal qualities were found for a few brief seconds. But it never lost that sweetness and the fruity aspects quickly returned.
There was one final push of citrus, with juicy orange and grapefruit, although the latter was a bit more harsh this time, bringing that pithy bitterness to the forefront.
Bottomcutter then ended quickly and INSANELY clean. That pithiness…gone. The flavors…gone. Dryness? None. 100 IBU??? WHERE?? It was so crisp and clean.
I couldn’t believe how light and crushable this DIPA was. The body was super light, the 8.2% was nowhere to be found, and the flavors only stuck around for a few moments before leaving you wanting more! This is a very dangerous, and VERY sessionable Imperial IPA. Well made and I can’t wait to grab more.
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