Continuing the hop hunt, it's hard to ignore the Americans for very long. I've had one of these quite some time ago, but neglected to take notes.
That was Odell's IPA, and I remember it being nice, if nothing special. How wrong I was.
The aroma is sharp and zesty, with fiercely potent hops showing off classic pine and peel notes, with grapefruit thrown in for good measure. Peach, mango and orange marmalade make up the balance, the whole olfactory experience being punchy and fresh at only 3 months old. As above so below, with loads of pineapple and grapefruit taking centre stage on the palate, again showing plenty of the bitter brightness of its age, with no lack of anchoring malts either. This is amazing stuff.
Eager to make a step up, I go for a Myrcenary, the double IPA. Unfortunately, this is about almost a year old, though it still has a good bit of stingy, bitter pine resin and fruit on the nose. Sugary marmalade, orange, peach, lemon zest and sweet toffee can also be found. There's far more warmth on the palate, though. Sugary malts and smooth, lemony honey open up for a pithy orange bitterness that does feel diminished in its age, though still bloomin' delicious.
Hops are nice, and I like them, but I hope that in this post and the last I'm not suggesting that hoppy imbalance is the path to success. It isn't, and these two beers, as well as the three from Hardknott, are beautifully balanced while exhibiting plenty of hop power. Seek any of the five out, and you won't be let down.
The only bum note of the evening is a rather big one; the cracking of my 8 Degrees glass above. Rest in peace my loyal friend.