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The Beer Circle » Imperial IPA, Sprecher Brewing Co. » Sprecher Brewing Company’s IPA2

Sprecher Brewing Company’s IPA2

IPA2 (which to be fair is actually IPA Squared), is a Premium Reserve Beer from Sprecher Brewing Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I received this from @PJOChicago on the twitters as part of a Wisconsin variety pack he made for me. Randy from Sprecher says:

Our IPA is of the imperial or double style, therefore much stronger than the normal IPA’s now found everywhere. It has a very balanced but different flavor than most US micro types focusing on more on malt and hop balance where CA IPA’s emphasize massive hop aroma and bitterness.

There seems to be some inconsistent information about this beer on the interwebs; Beer Advocate and Rate Beer both list it as 8.40% ABV, theSprecher website lists it as 7.50%, and the bottle itself states 7.72%. Further, Rate Beer said that IPA2 (an Imperial IPA) is another name for their India Pale Ale. I’m not so sure about that, considering the IPA was a “single” IPA (considered to be seasonal and having a different label), as opposed to a double IPA and the “Premium Reserve.”

Sprecher Brewing Company’s IPA2
IPA2 poured a nice amber color with about half an inch of fluffy white head. As I drank the beer, there was a lot of lacing that stayed on the glass, in addition to foam staying on the top of the brew.
Well... it would be easier to rate this if I could come up with one. For having 4 types of hops in it (Chinook, Fuggle, Northern Brewer and Willamette), there is not any discernible in the nose. The primary scent seems to be from the yeast, as opposed to the floral hops that typically dominate an English Style IPA. It doesn't smell bad... it just doesn't smell like anything, really, other than a weak Belgian style ale.
This doesn't really taste like any IPA or Imperial IPA I've had before. Despite the description of striving for balance, I kind of get a bitter bomb where the bitterness is sticking on my tongue. The only time I can taste anything resembling malt is when the beer is actively on my tongue. I don't really want to swallow the beer... not because it tastes that good in my mouth, but because the aftertaste is so gross/off putting. I would rather drink an adjunct lager than this beer. My Mom (who I am constantly craft-beer evangelizing when I'm home, and enjoys hops) took a sip and the look on her face was identical to the 'poison' danger signs you see on.... well, poison. I never claimed to be gifted in the vocabulary department.
The mouthfeel is actually really quite nice; it has a medium body and feels creamy.
I honestly have no idea how much this cost... but I'm going to go with anything is too much.
This beer reminds me of the first (and to this point, only) time that my friend Josh made hop brownies; he used the pot brownie method of boiling the hops in oil (that he apparently learned in high school chemistry....), not taking into account that hops are in fact water soluble, not lipid soluble. What we were expecting in terms of delicious brownies actually just turned out to be disgustingly bitter and we threw them away. It seems like the bitterness is the only thing that is coming out in this beer, as opposed to any of the more nuanced (or non bitter) aspects of the hops.I wouldn't buy this, and I probably would turn it down if it was offered to me. Even though it looks pretty out of the bottle and feels nice when ignoring the taste, that just doesn't compensate for the flavor. I will be reviewing more from Sprecher over the next few weeks, so I'm hoping things will only go up from here.

Beer Stats
Style: Imperial IPA
Serving: Bottle
Size: 12oz
ABV: 7.72%
BA Score: 77
RB Score: 65


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Written by Paige Deckert

Paige is a fifth year graduate student at Penn State; she received her craft beer education while bartending during undergrad at the University of Illinois. Over several months, Rogue’s Dead Guy served as her gateway beer, because it was $2/pint on Thursdays, and thus offered the highest ABV/$. This eventually turned into enjoyment, and everything is history from there. Her first legal beer was Robert the Bruce on cask at the Blind Pig in Champaign, followed by the Duchess de Bourgogne. Paige has visited over 15 breweries, including Great Divide, Bells, Jolly Pumpkin, Three Floyds and Dogfish Head, with plans to add more in 2012 via trips to San Diego, Phoenix, and Austin. Paige became friends with Russ (and subsequently Garrett) when they became friends on untappd. She clearly remembers seeing a check-in of his and thinking, “Who is this clown checking into Miller Light at the Shandygaff?” Soon thereafter he introduced himself at a Zeno’s beerfest, and they bonded over their beer geekery (sans adjuct lagers). Find Paige Deckert on Google Plus

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