4 Pines Imperial IPA is the first bottled Keller Door release of 2016 from the North Shore brewers.
Possibly the best thing about the Sydney beer scene is just how fresh we can get our beer. 4 Pines put out a notification across social media that they were bottling their Imperial IPA and it was heading out to bottle shops that day.
Fresh Is Best
In the space of a day, the bottle had left the brewery packaging line, been delivered to a bottle shop and then picked up and enjoyed by me. With any beer but especially with big hoppy IPAs, this is a privilege we just can’t underestimate.
It’s a really exciting part of living right in the centre of a fantastic brewing city and it thrilled me to pick it up off the shelf and take it home to enjoy straight away, knowing how recently it had been bottled.
Perfectly Clear And Hellishly Hoppy
The liquid looks perfectly clear in the glass. There’s an unbelievable, glorious clarity which is a thing of beauty in a beer like this. It seems as if IPAs and imperial IPAs might be heading this way in Australia, given the popularity of the West Coast style of which clarity is something of a feature.
It’s a golden amber colour with a bold white head. Grapefruit, pineapple and dank pine aromas punch their way through the frothy top. It’s all big bold hops and it promises to be bitter.
It tastes like there’s something smokey or spicy in there. I could be wrong but I would guess that there’s maybe a touch of rye in the malt bill. But perhaps there’s some spice coming in from the bittering hops.
As you’d expect, 4 Pines Imperial IPA possesses a big, boozy, malt-laden body. It’s a little bit chewy but more or less slips down your throat pretty easily. The back bone from the grain delivers the delightful colour and the solid booze that’s a character of this beer.
For the numbers geeks, it comes in at 84 IBU but it doesn’t deliver the scorching, enamel-stripping bitterness you might expect. Nor does it tear your taste buds from your tongue.
A Great Intro To Imperial IPAs
This could be a great Imperial IPA to give to those not a fan of the style. It’s nicely balanced for a type of beer which is often accused of being inherently unbalanced. The hop bitterness is restrained which for hardcore hop-heads might be disappointing but for many other drinkers will be something of a blessing.
The biggest flavour that comes through for me is something like pineapple on a hot, humid day. It’s almost like a cocktail of boozy, tropical punch.
There’s silky booze that caresses your mouth like satin but it drinks way under the 9% ABV. It’s an impressive feat to get such a big beer to be so easy to drink.
I wouldn’t pair this with a meal but sip away on it as you see out the day on a hot summer’s evening. 4 Pines continue to be inventive in their Keller Door series and execute their bottled releases very well.
From: Manly / Brookvale, NSW
Beer style: Imperial IPA
Have you tried 4 Pines Imperial IPA? Did you manage to get it super fresh too? Leave a comment and share your experience of this Keller Door release.