It’s about time that it started to feel like Summer around here. True there are the occasional flashes of rain and overcast skies, but it’s Summer now, thank goodness! For us this is also the time when we watch our hops grow in the backyard. If you have been a fan of the site for the better part of a year you have no doubt seen some of the photos featuring out little backyard buddy.
Seeing the rate at which our hops are growing inspired us to head down to Malt & Vine and pick ourselves up a bottle of Imperial India Pale Ale from Methow Valley’s Old Schoolhouse Brewing.
Bigger and more balanced than its little brother, Ruud Awakening India Pale Ale, with a stronger malt presence and increased hopping rate. Mild caramel malt character and plenty of Pacific Northwest hops. 9% ABV
Suggested Guidelines from the Brewers Association
Imperial or Double India Pale Ales have intense hop bitterness, flavor and aroma. Alcohol content is medium-high to high and notably evident. They range from deep golden to medium copper in color. The style may use any variety of hops. Though the hop character is intense it’s balanced with complex alcohol flavors, moderate to high fruity esters and medium to high malt character. Hop character should be fresh and lively and should not be harsh in quality. The use of large amounts of hops may cause a degree of appropriate hop haze. Imperial or Double India Pale Ales have medium-high to full body. Diacetyl should not be perceived. The intention of this style of beer is to exhibit the fresh and bright character of hops. Oxidative character and aged character should not be present.
Old Schoolhouse’s Ruud Awakening as it emerges from the bottle rests in the glass with a dark orange appearance but is definitely clear. Settling into the glass a strong near two inch format of protein-rich head forms. Over time this white cap disappears leaving only islands of lace inside the glass.
With the first sip we are woke up by aromas of floral and earthy bitterness, minor oak, and bits of biscuit malt breadiness.
Buried in the first sip we are greeted by floral and pine bitterness, before a combination of warmth and caramel sweetness reminds us that this beer is a sipper. Overall Ruud Awakening Imperial India Pale Ale has a medium to heavy weight as it rest on the tongue and there is some residual stickiness. Definitely nothing out of the ordinary.
You Should Try This. Hard to believe that this is another in a series of beers from a brewer who more or less just did it. Put one of these at the dinner table alongside a buffalo or elk burger. Or do as we Pacific Ocean lovers do and grab some salmon!