Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Review: Mikkeller Invasion IPA

Brewery:  Mikkeller
Craft Circa: 2006
Style:  American IPA
ABV:  7%

Notables:  Per wiki, Mikkeller is a so called “phantom” or “gypsy” microbrewery.  The company brews at a variety of host facilities in several different countries.  The “legendary” Mikkeller founder Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, has travelled around the world thus far brewing more than 200 different beers at other breweries.   Hell of a gig.   This brew appears to be produced at Drake’s Brewing in California based on a couple release articles I came across.  B&B has another one on hand “RisGoop”; which is a rice beer in collaboration with 3 Floyds.  We’re excited to give that one a whirl, and look out for a possible review down the road a piece. 

Label:  Clean and crisp like the brew within. 

Overall:   Like I mentioned, this is a collaboration IPA, but to be frank, I’m not sure how these collaboration beers work.  Do these guys show up with grain bags in hand ready to steep, merely using their equipment, and then off into the sunset the gypsy roams?  Or is there actual collaboration with master brewers, deriving the perfect chemistry driven formula based on all the experience they’ve absorbed over the course of their lives churning out the next ‘Heisenberg’ blue ice of artisans? 

Either way… it’s a delicious brew and I’d have another if I so haphazardly came across one.  The pour was partly cloudy, almost opaque, amber yellow.    The head retained its stature for a bit, and appeared like a beer many IPA fans would agree on by mere looks alone.  The smell is a courteous one in that it invites you into its humble abode that is scented with a punch of big citrus, blended with some sort of mango, or other tropic born outgrowth. 

The beer has a taste that you can tell was acute, and focused on delivering the goods.  This brew was quite clean and quite crisp from start to finish.  This journey begins on a grassy noted trail in a sense, but still refreshing.  I think a pine tree sprouted up on this road less traveled as well, but any piney finish was a delicate one.  It’s a wonderful beer.  I’ll refrain from describing this as an almost perfect IPA because of the longevity of Mikkeller brews, and the scarcity of it (from what I’ve read).  The hops were a bit milder, but still provided a jab or two of kick in there, maybe even a Glass Joe uppercut snuck in there.  Great balance. 

I enjoyed savoring this beer, and you almost have to take your time and savor it to enjoy all it has to offer, because there’s a good chance it may not be back around again.  This applies to not only the Invasion IPA but with many other Mikkeller brews.  Mikkeller’s business model appears to be constantly focused on the next brew in the hopper, the next brewery they can join forces and collaborate with.  The experience as a beer drinker feels a lot like a hot one night stand where you never exchanged digits.  It was a great time, but there’s a remote chance that your paths will cross again.  This model works for them, but I wish there was some more appreciation from Mikkeller for their brews, and a reoccurrence every once and a while… a “second date” if you will.   

I guess that’s the beauty and mystique of a phantom menace such as Mikkeller.  It’s a great beer, so find yourself a bottle, and if you see one on the shelf, grab it before it poofs in a dark black cloud smoke before your very eyes. 

Acquisition:  Bomber - $10

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