Saturday, October 1, 2011

MIKKELLER "10" - IT'S NO ELLIOT BREW

The amount of IPAs made by MIKKELLER, either in whole by them or in part with other brewers, is flat-out staggering. I was in a Whole Foods yesterday and saw like eight new single-hop varieties alone. At some point you hit the law of diminishing returns, and what I'm finding out about these IPAs is that point is now starting to be hit. Mikkeller now have a branding problem. By slapping their moniker on nearly 100 beers every year - no kidding there - they're "diluting the brand", as we marketing dorks say. Not that it's my problem, but it makes playing "Mikkeller roulette" a lot less satisfying than it did a year or two ago.

Last time I played this game I scored big. It was their double IPA collaboration with DE STRUISE, called "ELLIOT BREW", which I absolutely loved. Rolling the metaphorical dice again, I decided to buy a MIKKELLER 10 not so long ago. An "American-style IPA" from these Danish brewers. What could go wrong, right? Wrong. No, it's not a bad beer - but what it is is a chalky, un-citrusy semi-harsh IPA with only its rich, piney, resinous smell to redeem it. It's completely unremarkable in every other regard. Everything is blunted - the hops, the malts and interplay between them. Just a dry, dour and only merely decent beer. It's nowhere close to that Elliot Brew, not by a friggin' mile. Makes me reluctant to pull the trigger on any more of their IPAs. If you've had a good experience with any of them, please let the Beer Samizdat Army know about it in the comments. Thanks!! 6/10.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I enjoyed I Beat yoU (get it?) when I tried that a while back. Pine, citrus and lots of caramel malts. I've also heard good things about 1000 IBU, but I have yet to try it and I admit that I'm inclined to like it's extreme nature more than most...

The whole single hop experiment is an interesting (if expensive) exercise when taken as a whole, but individually, things vary greatly... and as I understand it, the Mikkeller 10 was made along similar experimental lines (i.e. grab the 10 varieties of hops used in the single hop beers, and put them all in one beer), so it doesn't surprise me that you found it underwhelming. It seems like the recipe was made simply as a curiosity, rather than a deliberate attempt to make a good beer. Or something.

Mikkeller's large catalog is certainly overwhelming, but I will probably continue to sample their various offerings. I have a barley wine of theirs around somewhere, along with an imperial stout of some kind, both of which I'm greatly looking forward to...