Bottled Up: Russian River Blind Pig
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS CAPITAL LETTERS.
Usually, I resent being told how to drink a beer. Best served at 7.5º from a steel-rimmed chalice held in your left hand? Screw you. One to be enjoyed slowly and responsibly? Fuck off - if I want to chug it whilst hanging out of a train window I'll damn well do so. So when a bottle goes all shouty capital letters at me as to how and when to drink the contents, I'm tempted to pass. But this time, the instruction is dead-on.
You see, Blind Pig is a fat, fresh IPA. And Russian River want you to enjoy that freshness. In fact, they demand it. The label bears a Bottled On date and strict instructions:
KEEP COLD, DRINK FRESH, DO NOT AGE!
CONSUME BLIND PIG FRESH, OR NOT AT ALL!
RESPECT HOPS, CONSUME THIS IPA FRESH!
My bottle was born just over two months ago. It was passed to me four days ago. So it would be mercilessly rude of me to leave it any longer.
Truth be told, I spent a couple of minutes with my nostril stuck over the open bottle. Just to feel hops leaking into me. It pours clean gold with a little-finger-thick head of brilliant-white bubbles. Yes, there's viscous grapefruit but it's undercut with peach, overlayed with pine, sustained by a sweet malt.
It zings. It's bitter and resinous but still.... restrained. Calculated. Measured. A hop load evenly spread. A multiple orgasm of a beer rather than an overblown moneyshot of hop eruption.
HOPPY BEERS ARE NOT MEANT TO BE AGED!
Amen to that.
Thanks to Phil Lowry for the beer.