Jul 14, 2016

Champion Brewing ICBM

With so much new beer in the market and shelf retail space that doesn’t seem to want to keep up, I’ve gotten into the habit of checking the bottling, or best by, dates of any pale ale, IPA and their imperial varieties. I’ve purchased too many beers in the past year that have been well past their prime, either as a result of sitting in a back room or a distribution center before being allowed to hit shelves. This can of Champion Brewing’s ICMB, an imperial IPA weighing in at 10% ABV and 85 IBU, had a February 17th canning date — my review notes are from mid-May.

I mention the date above not because the beer was too old, but because it just smells that way. For an imperial/double IPA, ICBM has a heavy malt aroma that gives the impression that it has been sitting around for a bit. Ultimately, however, the beer turned out just fine as plenty of piney hops, tropical fruits and herbal notes took center stage over the malt bill and its moderate sweetness.

Despite the initial scare, ICBM turned out to be a fairly capable double IPA. It’s not the most dynamic example of the style, but it provided all that I needed to enjoy the brew. I could be swayed to pick up some more, providing that canning date isn’t too far in the past.