Jan 28, 2016

Flying Dog Single Hop HBC-291 Imperial IPA

I’m a big fan of the entire Single Hop series from Flying Dog that they’ve been releasing periodically since 2011. Simcoe, Citra, El Dorado, Galaxy, Amarillo and others have all made an appearance since then. This latest offering, HBC-291 Imperial IPA, isn’t the company’s first time utilizing an experimental hop — HBC-431 hit shelves just about this time last year — but this is by far and away the most unique of the series thus far.

This beer also sees the brewery dropping down from the typical 10% ABV level that has been a part of the series thus far. Weighing in at 8% ABV (70 IBU), the newest addition to the Single Hop family is a bit more manageable in terms of potency, mouthfeel and hop bite. Driven by herbaceous notes and a tropical fruit medley of flavors, HBC-291 provides a drinking experience that almost defies description.

Regardless of my ability to pinpoint flavors of melon and possibly bubble gum (?!) within the brew’s golden depths, the end result is one hell of a tasty imperial IPA. It’s got good flavor, a slightly prickly carbonation that I would like to see softened a bit and a pretty darn refreshing character. When compared to the previous releases in this run of beers, it certainly, based on memory and notes, stands out a great deal. I’ll take another please.

This is a review of a promotional sample.