By Iron Chef Leftovers
A couple of times a year, the brewers from New Belgium and Elysian get together and brew a beer in a collaboration series called “Hop Trip”. These beers are generally unusual and pretty good. In honor of fresh hop season, they brewed an Imperial Fresh Hop, basically a fresh hop double IPA. I couldn’t find much info on the beer other than it was 8.6% ABV and ran $6.99 for a 22 oz. bottle.
The beer pours hazy orange in color. There is light grain on the nose, but it is dominated by citrus and green hops with hints of spice in the background. The initial taste is potent – burnt orange peel and citrus juice on the front end followed by green hops and resin with a long, slightly bitter, grapefruit finish that lingers with a slight sweetness. This beer is a great balance of sweet and bitter with huge citrus character. This is definitely one that you don’t want to drink if you don’t like a big hoppy beer, but it is complex and assertive and should please just about any hop head.
Elysian Trip XIV Imperial Fresh Hop meanders down the road with a smooth 4 Winnebagoes out of 5.