Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Decadent

I have mentioned several times that I never buy beer or wine based upon the label on the bottle.  However, if I did, then I would be buying a lot of beer from Ska Brewing Company.  The labels for Ska Brewing's offerings -- with the ska-music based themes and funky skeletons -- catch my eyes every time I see them on a store's shelves.  Fortunately, I can also justify the purchase of those beers on the fact that Ska Brewing makes some very good beers. 

Ska Brewing Company is located in Durango, Colorado.  As its website recounts, two friends -- Dave and Bill -- decided, after drinking a lot of bear and listening to ska music, that they would start brewing good beer.  They also undertook the battle against the big, bad forces that were "conspiring to conglomerize and corporatize beer."  The result are year-around brews with names like Ten Pin Porter and the Buster Nut Brown Ale.  However, Ska Brewing's "Robust Reincarnations" are some of the more noteworthy beers.

One of the "Robust Reincarnations" is the Decadent, an Imperial India Pale Ale.  Ska Brewing first made this beer to celebrate their tenth anniversary in business, and, they continue to make it every year. 

According to the brewers: "citrus aroma prevail.  Mounds of fresh hops and caramel malts explode upon the palate."  The beer pours a copper color, and it has a very nice citrus aroma.  I also sensed a little pine in that aroma as well.  As for the taste, the beer hit the mark of an Imperial India Pale Ale, with bold citrus flavors -- most notably, grapefruit -- that is paired with other traditional hop flavors like pine and even a little resin.  Those Imperial IPA flavors are tamed by a caramel-like sweetness in a beer that is smooth and silky in character.

Ska Brewing Company suggests pairing with spicy Indian, Thai and Mexican foods.  The brewer suggests that the hops attach to cumin, lime juice and cilantro, and I think I can see that.

The Decadent Imperial Pale Ale is available at beer stores, but not around where I live.  This bottle was bought at a Binny's outside of Chicago.


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