#292 Mikkeller – 1000 IBU

Mikkeller 1000 IBUName: 1000 IBU
Brewery: Mikkeller (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Style: Imperial India Pale Ale
ABV: 9.6%
Source: The Beer Store

And just like that, I’ve jumped from the humble homebrew to the relatively insane and insanely expensive Mikkeller 1000 IBU. Take a moment get your bearings and adjust.

Now, if you don’t know what an IBU is don’t feel bad –  I thought it was a beer gang called Insane Brewers United for a while – but in actual fact it stands for International Bittering Unit. The number of IBUs in a beer indicates roughly how bitter it will taste, just like the ABV indicates roughly  how drunk it will get you.

To give you a bit of a benchmark – Epic Pale Ale has an IBU of 45, while the Armageddon (which is pretty bitter if you ask me)  has an IBU of 60. Now look again at the title of this post. 1000 IBUs. Seems crazy, right?  The kind of thing  only a member of Insane Brewers United would make? Well lets just find out.

From the pour it certainly looked serious. It wasn’t clear and golden like most IIPAs I’ve had, but cloudy and brown – as if all those IBUs were floating around and murking it up (I do know this isn’t actually how it works). The nose was dominated by caramel malt, but the hops were there too – sweet and fruity, not the classic grapefruit/pine thing that I automatically assign to most American IPAs, but more ripe pineapple and stone fruit.

In the mouth it was bitter, yes, but not 16.6 times more bitter than an Armageddon. It was sweet and malty, with a sharp bite at the finish which lingered for awhile, but it didn’t wring my tongue out and require me to swill a litre of milk as I had hoped it would.

There are a couple of reasons why it didn’t do that. First of all, apparently the human tongue can only perceive a certain amount of bitterness – something like 80 to 100 IBUs I’ve heard – so you can pile it on in droves after that and it won’t really make any difference. Second, Mikkeller state that this only has a theoretical rather than an actual IBU of 1000, though I’m not even sure what that means. Can I say I have a theoretical height of six feet and a theoretical bank balance of millions?

I guess the whole 1000 IBU thing was just a bit of a marketing stunt. But it’s OK, because it was a tasty marketing stunt, and it taught me a valuable lesson about International Bittering Units which could come in handy if I ever enter a beer geek pub quiz. Win win!

Published in: on June 10, 2012 at 6:55 pm  Comments (2)  
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#174 BrewDog Nøgne Ø Mikkeller – Black Tokyo* Horizon

Black Tokyo HorizonName: Black Tokyo Horizon
Brewery: BrewDog with Nøgne Ø & Mikkeller
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 17.2%
Source: Hashigo Zake

Here it is guys – the most expensive beer on Beer for a Year to date, and probably the most expensive beer I’ll ever drink unless someone buys me something even fancier for my birthday. Which is in April. April 18th, FYI.

Obviously if you’re one of the elite crowd who has supped an End of History or Tactical Nuclear Penguin, then this beer will seem neither boozy or pricey to you. But for me? Spending $45 on a 350ml bottle seemed more than a bit extravagant.

I probably wouldn’t have bought it except that I was already phenomenally pissed when I did (I got it at Hashigo Zake – go figure), and it was actually a gift for my Dad’s 60th. He kindly followed my instructions not to open the beer without me, and bought it to the wedding in Greytown we were at on the weekend to share it.

It poured thick and black, with the teensiest little head – a bit like an espresso.

It smelled like molasses mostly, as well as roasty coffee, dark fruits and bitter coffee.

In the mouth it was sweet and syrupy, with more coffee, chocolate, and soy sauce and a really bitter, citrussy hop finish. The alcohol was well-hidden considering it was 17.2%, but there was a pleasing alcohol burn after it had slipped down my throat.

It was sort of evil somehow, but in a good way. We tried to share some with the rest of the family but they thought it was a bit much for midday drinking before a wedding (pansies), so we finished the lot. I wasn’t going to let a drop of $45 beer go to waste!

And here’s my glass afterwards, which had at least 75c worth still clinging to the sides:

Published in: on February 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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