Mikkeller In May
8. Mikkeller 1000 IBU Ultramate 4.9%
I'm not going to muck about here. When you get a beer that says 1000 IBU on it you know your going to get bitterness, that or it's ironic, being a backlash against some of the mega-bitter beers being produced for bitterness sake (hop, hop, and hop again ad infinitum).
This is most definitely the former.
It pours a deep honey-orange with just the faintest touch of yellow, a little transluceent with rocky beige head that quickly dissipates. The aroma is intense orange pine hops. If you've ever opened a bag of dried hops then you'll know the smell, it's that wonderfully intense fresh, green almost wet aroma that makes me salivate, it's one I really love. It's briefly smooth over the tongue, which surprised me, with some pleasant pine and orange marmalade flavours, rich and fruity. Then it begins. Slowly at first, a dry creeping pine bitterness builds, sucking at your tastebuds drawing out the moisture. The astringency doesn't stop, relentlessly building, steadily planing your tongue with a hop-edged cutting tool. This beer defines bitter.
However, and this is a big however, it is actually quite a thin beer and while the bitterness is beautifully and painfully intense that's really all there is too it. I wish it had delivered in taste what I had imagined from the aroma, but I guess that would be missing the point. I've never had a beer this bitter and I like beers that push boundaries and this most certainly does, I while I don't feel let down I just want a bit more balance, roundedness and flavour.