Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Oskar Blues Gordon Review

Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery | Beer: Gordon
Style: American Double India Pale Ale | ABV: 8.7% | IBUs: 85
Serving Method: 12 oz. can poured into tulip glass

Oskar Blues GordonWith one of the highest average scores of any brewery here on PintLog, Oskar Blues has been a very welcome addition here in the Houston market. With Ten Fidy, their Russian Imperial Stout, garnering a perfect A+ a few weeks ago, I figured it was time to look to the hoppier part of the style spectrum and give their beer named simply Gordon a look.

Initially brewed as Oskar Blues' Winter seasonal, Gordon is now brewed throughout the year as one of the company's five canned offerings. While I have listed it as a Double IPA, Oskar Blues describe it as a hybrid "somewhere between an Imperial Red and a Double IPA," so keep that in mind. Gordon is named after the late Gordon Knight, a Colorado craft-brew pioneer that passed away in 2002 fighting a wild fire.

Oskar Blues describe Gordon as "an assertive yet exceptionally smooth version of strong beer" featuring "a gooey, resiny aroma and a luscious mouthfeel." The malt backbone is built with six varieties, including Chocolate. Three hops varieties are used during brewing, and then a "mutha lode" of Amarillo hops are used for dry-hopping. It certainly sounds like another winner, so let's go ahead and pop the top.

Appearance: A rich, dark red-orange body with a two-finger tall, off-white head. Brilliant lacing.

Aroma: Tons of Cascadey hops over a solid, sweet caramel malt base. This is absolutely excellent.

Taste: An excellent wave of citrusy hops up front with plenty of sweet caramel malt underneath. This is one of the most balanced Double IPAs I've had the pleasure to try. The alcohol is hidden excellently.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with adequate carbonation.

Drinkability: Above average for the style, but you're still going to have to pace yourself with the 8.7% alcohol.

Verdict: Balanced with a big caramel backbone, Gordon has a unique flavor profile for a Double IPA. While it's certainly somewhat less hop-centric and more drinkable than most Double IPAs, don't be fooled into thinking it's somehow weak. With another beer receiving a review in the "A" range, Oskar Blues is now poised to really dominate the PintLog ratings.

Grade: A-

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