Do you remember that first ex-girlfriend/boyfriend who ripped out your heart and played hacky-sack with it? Do you remember what what it was like to feel so forlorn, pining for their company, driving by their house at 2 AM, sitting outside their window, crying for hours on end?
Do you remember how you felt when that sadness inevitably turned to rage? When keying your name into their car after 6 shots and 8 beers seemed like the perfect revenge? Do you remember the inability to express your ire in anything but pathetic whimpering and guttural grunts?
Remember the overwhelming, unwavering bitterness?
It didn’t just disappear. It was captured, in secret. Stored in bottles. Housed for years to be re-purposed.
A mad brewmaster knew this emotional pain would yield an ingredient so potent, it would be dangerous and morally reprehensible to use.
But he used it.
A lot of it.
All of it.
The result? Smuttynose IPA.
This stuff contains the collective bitterness of an entire generation. The “bitter beer face” was invented solely for people drinking this beer. People who co-opted its use for other bitter beers are just posers. Nothing is as bitter as this beer. Nothing.
You have to take this beer seriously or it will hurt you. I swear that when I pryed off the cap, I heard the echo of a childish argument between jilted lovers. It wants to get out of the bottle. When it does, it’s opaque, orange, and oppressive.
But damn it tastes good.
It smells like the shame of that 17th drunken voice mail. Barely coherent, but vitriolic nonetheless. It’s hard to pick out anything other than the smell of hops. I’m wondering if they accidentally dumped 100 times the normal amount of hops into a pale ale one day and just decided to run with it.
This is one of those beers that somehow tastes dry. It makes you more thirsty the more you drink it. The flavors are intense like the first 2 weeks of a summer vacation romance. The after taste is that feeling when you find out that your new beau lives 400 miles away.
But like all youthful romances, it’s good while it lasts. You’ll have fond memories, even if it leaves a bad taste in your mouth (or with a throbbing head in the morning).
If you generally like IPAs, you might like this one. If you don’t, you’ll find this beer catty and a little bitchy. Don’t tell her friends I said that though, I might still have a chance.
7.25 out of 10
Next up: Heavy Seas Loose Cannon IPA!