May 22, 2015

Against The Grain Rico Sauvin

I’m a big fan of single-hop focused beers. To see what individual breweries do with that one ingredient is interesting to say the least. Now, I’m not sure if Against the Grain’s Rico Sauvin is 100% a single hop brew, but their focus on the Nelson Sauvin variety had my interest piqued instantly.

This 8.2% ABV (68 IBU) imperial IPA is about as tame a beer as you’re going to find in this realm. That doesn’t mean that it’s weak or lacking flavor, but the level of hop bitterness and sweetness aren’t as over-the-top as is typical with many of its peers. The hop flavor is smooth, leafy with a peppery tingle that makes for a refreshing experience. It’s much like another Nelson-specific brew I’ve had from Mikkeller.


Rico Sauvin pours amber in color with a frothy cap of off-white foam that fell to a thin crown around the surface.

Against The Grain Rico Sauvin


Grapefruit, grass, light pine, leafy hops and light, peppery notes combine for a pleasing, if subtle aroma.


Again, grapefruit, pine and peppery/leafy hop flavors dominate throughout as soft breed notes and a decent amount of hop bitterness take their time arriving. The flavors and bite swell before fading ever so slowly through the lasting and lightly drying finish. A touch of honey and malt sweetness tease late.


This is a pretty darn tasty imperial IPA. It’s not really overly anything in terms of flavor, everything tends to flow along swimmingly at all the right levels. The bitterness isn’t crazy, but it’s probably on the high side for most. The alcohol is manageable and the sweetness adds just enough to balance out the smooth, leafy hop character.

Rating: 4/5

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