Sunday, 2 December 2012

Beer Advent Calendar Day 2- To Øl/Mikkeller Sleep Over Coffee IIPA

Good evening all. It's time for today's advent calendar post, and the first of potentially many Mikkeller beers over the next 25 days. It's Sleep Over Coffee IIPA, a DIPA collaboration between To Øl and Mikkeller (Copenhagen, Denmark) that utilises espresso coffee in the brewing process to create an interesting DIPA/Black IPA hybrid. I'm a big fan of both of these gypsy breweries; virtually all of their output is fantastic, and even the less successful offerings still have some merit to them, so naturally expectations are high for this beer. Review after the pics....

Sleep Over Coffee IIPA (10.5% ABV) pours a cloudy orange colour with a bubbly head that settles to a patchy covering over the surface of the beer; there's also some lacing during the early stages. The aroma is unusual but very interesting, with coffee, grapefruit, mango, resinous pine, a light smokiness and a background smell similar to oily pimento olives. The olive aroma is something I've come across before (Goose Island Pepe Nero immediately comes to mind), but fortunately it's in the background and only becomes apparent once the main aromas pass. The coffee hits immediately and almost masks the influence of the hops, and they only become noticeable after a few inhales with the usual tropical fruits and some piney notes. No real sense of the malt/beer base either; some smoked malt seems to come along every once in a while but this might just be the coffee. Nothing much else to report regarding the aroma, but it's shaping up to be an interesting spin on the DIPA style. The taste delivers much of the same, with coffee, resin, caramel, grapefruit and a nice dose of bitterness during drinking and in the finish. As with the aroma the coffee is the most immediate flavour, but it doesn't let up as readily this time and so impedes the hop flavours until the finish, where some grapefruit and a hint of mango lingers on. Aside from this and the aforementioned coffee there's not much else going on, but this isn't a criticism as it makes a change from the usual DIPAs. There is some sweetness during drinking, and the bitterness can be pretty intense as expected, so it certainly ticks all the usual boxes! The mouthfeel is quite thick and the beer is well-carbonated, which is perfect for the flavours on show. Overall, this is another great collaboration between two Danish brewing titans; the coffee compliments the hop-derived fruits nicely, and the whole experience is a pleasant departure from the usual crop of DIPAs. Definitely recommended; similar beers include Mikkeller Koppi IPA and The Kernel Coffee IPA. 

Until next time....

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