Nov 10, 2017

Old Ox Brewery Hipmonk

Old Ox’s Hipmonk is a Belgian-style dubbel that was brewed using “secrets of the legendary Trappist brewers.” Or at least, that’s what the company’s website alludes to when researching this beer. The 7% ABV ale uses orange peel, coriander and star anise within it’s coppery depths as well as dark Belgian candi sugar in the kettle. The only problem with that is not everything seems to have gone as plan.

The beer certainly looks the part when poured into a chalice, but things get a little muddled after that. Of the orange peel, anise and coriander, only the spice comes through on the nose and once the beer meets the tastebuds. Both the orange peel and anise are MIA throughout the experience. And I’m not sure if the brewery used overly roasted malt or if the candi sugar got burned in the process, but there’s a char in there that is a bit off-putting. The result is a beer that doesn’t quite meet expectations and gets a bit muddied in flavor.

I was really looking forward to enjoying Hipmonk — Old Ox has been doing some good things (see Cooper’s Cloak Belgian Specialty) with Belgian-style ales as of the past couple of years. This one just didn’t work for me. That burnt character just distracted too much from what I did enjoy about the dubbel.