Regardless of fruit additives, when I taste an imperial IPA, I’m expecting something quite big for my palate to navigate. The aroma here is appropriately floral, paying tribute to the Nugget, Nelson Sauvin, and Citra hops within, but with an additional hint of tart-suggesting citrus. Has to be the passion fruit, and that semi-educated guess paid off with a first drink that was at once crisp, tart, and a tad metallic. It was odd and unfamiliar, yet my palate welcomed further sips.
After a few seconds of this beer lingering on the palate, a more familiar piney finish comes through. And yet, the hop qualities here are not overbearing in the crisp, medium body of the beer. The base IPA is present, yet it goes in new directions.
Once the full balance takes hold, Voodoo Passion Fruit Imperial IPA settles into an extremely drinkable and satisfying beer. The tartness and mild bitterness balance each other out nicely, and this one begins to masquerade as a summer sipper if you let your mind go there.
In fact, it begins to feel like a 5 percent ABV IPA, if you let it. But don’t be fooled: This beer is a true Imperial IPA in terms of alcohol content, coming in at 8 percent. Interestingly, for a hardcore double IPA fan, this might seem quite restrained, whereas for a more general audience it’s quite the sleeper.
Voodoo Passion Fruit Imperial IPA is available in 22-ounce bombers for a limited time, so check your favorite bottle shop. I actually liked it more than I expected to. And even if I don’t get my hands on another one, at least now I have an idea of what passion fruit tastes like.
Kevin Gibson is a Louisville, Ky.-based free-lance writer who writes about everything from food to music to beer to bourbon to professional football. He loves bacon, loathes cucumbers and once interviewed Yoko Ono (pissed her off a little, too). He is author of "Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft" (2014, History Press). He published his first novel, "The Liberation of Crystal Hill" (Bearhead Publishing), in 2011; he also published "Crohn's Disease: A Memoir from the Toilet" in January 2015 and his currently working on two more book projects. He co-hosts a weekly local radio show, and also plays in a couple of bands, the Uncommon Houseflies and the Nick Peay Band. Not surprisingly, he doesn't sleep much. But when he isn't running around town chasing stories or poised at his trusty laptop writing, you can often find him at one of the local breweries and being thankful for the life he lives. That, or he'll be sitting on his couch with his trusty sidekick Darby. Check out his beer blog, 502Brews.com, or his website, KevinGibsonWriter.com, to find out more about his books and why he does what he does. Or feel free to call him names on Twitter: @kgramone.