Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lucky U IPA (Breckenridge Brewery)

The night President Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden, I was drinking a 471 IPA from Breckenridge Brewery. (It was a Beer Club contribution from Jeffrey Gentry, I believe.) I got distracted by the television coverage and didn't take detailed notes to write up a review. Watching the spontaneous street celebrations build and sharing the bittersweet catharsis of the long-awaited news, this should by all rights have been one of the tastiest beers of my life. In reality, though, I remember thinking that, for a supposed double IPA, it was a bit muted and lacking in structure.

But I can be remarkably forgiving when it comes to beer, so rest assured that I will give a fair shake to Lucky U IPA, which one of my brethren chipped in to the Beer Club six pack this week.

The beer pours a peachy orange color, slightly hazy. I got three quarters of an inch of foam, with lacing. The aroma doesn't project much -- I had to bring my nose quite near to smell it, but then I pick up something like the crust of fresh baked bread.

From there, my experience is similar to the one I had with the previous Breckenridge brew. The flavor never gets as deep as I expect it to, and ends fairly abruptly. The main characteristic is a nice sweet malt body with the suggestion of apricot. Pleasant enough. Any contribution from the hops is a very understated one. But is this really the profile Breckenridge was going for here -- short and shallow, rounded and circumscribed?

There is certainly nothing unpleasant about the beer, but it lacks intensity. There must be a use for it in the grand scheme of beers -- just as there lurks a proper occasion for use of every odd varietal in the grand pantheon of wine -- but I don't foresee this one entering the standard repertoire. I'll give their Oatmeal Stout a try before I write off Breckenridge Brewery as simply "not my bag." Here's hoping!

Featured beer:
Lucky U IPA

Honorable mentions:
471 IPA
Oatmeal Stout

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