Name: Mikkeller 1000 IBU
Style: Double IPA
Beer description: Mikkeller are a Danish microbrewery. They emphasise their home brew and experimental roots and therefore come out with some pretty intense flavours sometimes. Mikkeller also do a lot of collaborations and one off brews. They’re pretty widely available at most bottle shops with a decent craft beer selection.
For those not in the know, IBU stands for International Bittering Unit. Without going too far into where different beers typically fall on the scale, most beers probably aren’t going to push past 100. So 1000 IBUs is quite a bit.
This beer pours like a typical double IPA – it’s really starting to get away from the “pale” part of India Pale Ale. The best description for colour is simply “brown.” It’s not a light brown, or a dark brown. It’s pretty much as brown as brown gets. The beer keeps a good, but constant head of about one millimetre that is thick in consistency.
The smell of this beer lives up to the expectations of the pour. The aroma is absolutely packed with malt. There’s so much malt in there (it is a double IPA at damn near 10% after all), it’s hard to distinguish all the different malt characteristics in this beer. The malt is also overtaken by the hops here. The hops bring a lot of fruit and flowers. Once again, it’s all rolled in there. It’s obvious Mikkeller have set out to make a really extreme beer and, since they were aiming for 1000 IBUs, they’ve taken the opportunity to just throw in every hop they could find!
The biggest thing that makes it difficult to pinpoint exact aromas in this beer is that it just cuts right through the nose. The spice and extreme bitterness rip through the drinker’s nostrils and, while there are smells, it becomes confusing. The most distinct smells, however, are vanilla, oats, fresh barley, lemon, grapefruit, pine, and then a whole lot of spice and bitterness.
So, to the taste. As a beer with so much bitterness (as mentioned in the name, 1000 IBUs), there is the danger, of course, that the drinker will be left with nothing except some extreme bitterness. This beer is surprisingly well balanced, with a distinct beginning, middle and end.
At the front, the beer is thick and malty, with a subtle sweetness of vanilla and distinct barely tastes. There’s a little bit of hops in here, but mostly citruses and pine. This is just to prepare the mouth for the bitterness to come. In the middle, the sweetness builds, and the beer becomes surprisingly sweet, only immediately to be contrasted by immediately by lots and lots of bitterness. And, at 1000 IBUs, the bitterness sticks and sticks. Of course, over time, this becomes a major palate wrecker.
While this beer is great to drink, most of the pleasure lies in the aroma. The aroma is exciting and builds anticipation. The first couple of sips of the beer are great and interesting, but, a little ways through, the palate is done and it just comes down to enjoying it.
Check out more Double IPA reviews.
Go to other Mikkeller beer reviews.