Brewery: Knee Deep Brewing Co.
Style: Triple India Pale Ale
Serving: 650ml Bottle
Price: Around £12
Every so often I like to treat myself to a beer that’s a little more expensive than I would normally go for. In August, for my birthday I treated myself to a couple of these; 8 Wired’s Hopwired IPA and Stone’s Enjoy By 08.16.14. Both were in the £10-15 price bracket. This month my treat beer was one that Rob from HopZine raved about during his recent trip to America, Knee Deep Brewing’s Simtra. This triple IPA weighing in at 11.25% ABV certainly has a lot going for it on paper, not least the inclusion of one of my top three hop varieties; Citra. When I saw a local bottle shop had this, I didn’t hesitate, even with the £12 price tag.
I first want to talk about freshness. As we all know freshness is important to a good IPA. When Rob at HopZine had his bottle it was only a coupe of weeks old. My bottle was six months old so I was expecting there to be some loss of hop flavour and a mellowing of the bitterness. That being said, I wasn’t prepared for how good this beer was! On the nose you did get some booze but at 11.25% you’d kind of expect some. This was minor, however and was quickly dominated by a massive punch of tropical and citrus fruit! Seriously, it smells divine and just as fresh, if not fresher than the “devastatingly fresh” Enjoy By 08.16.14. Weird, huh? As well as all that fruit, you also get some grassy character and only a suggestion of that ammonia thing that comes with simcoe.
Flavour wise, again considering the age, this beer was out of this world! the flavour very much follows the aroma with buckets of tropical fruit but with the citrus notes playing a bigger role. There is also a honey/syrup sweetness that does tend to be par for the course with triple IPAs, simply because of the amount of malt used. that grassy character comes through in the flavour as well.
As the beer warmed the flavours got more intense ans more complex with some peach, mango and lychee all coming through. As you’d expect from the ABV, the body is big and meaty with that lovely mouth-coating feeling you get from really strong beers and even some spirits. One thing I will say is that the beer is dangerously drinkable. Dangerous to your sobriety as well as your bank balance. But in the words of Donna Meagle: