Ace of Spades IPAJuly 1, 2011 Portland, OR
Hopworks Urban Brewery
Available: OR, WA, BC
Ace of Spades prominently features Amarillo, Cascade and Centennial hops, added at every point of the brewing process: mash tun, first wort, kettle, and dry hop.
Original gravity: 1086
If you've ever experienced a Motorhead concert -- a song of theirs is what this beer is named for -- you will appreciate the Ace of Spades, not just for its eponymous name, but for the sheer force jammed into each bottle. Hopped at every step of production, the green goodness leaps out of the glass and never quits, much like Motorhead's frontman, Lemmy Kilmister. But just like the band's seemingly tough fans, Ace of Spades has a complex, sweet side, too, providing the perfect stage for all those hops to crank it to 11. A rock star of a beer.
- Lisa Morrison
As imperial IPAs go, this one is certainly imperious. The label declares 100+ IBUs and to get away with that level of bitterness you need a heck of a lot of malt for support. Happily, Ace of Spades plays its hand very cleverly. It’s welcomingly sweet on the tongue initially, with a silky maltiness faintly suggestive of caramel. But then the hops slam down on the tastebuds, filling the mouth with sappy cedar, pine and orange notes that fairly burn the throat as you swallow. Intense and absorbing, but the 22 oz bottle is just too big for this drinker.
- Jeff Evans
Lisa Morrison, aka The Beer Goddess, writes about beer whenever she can and also gets to talk about it on a weekly radio show in her hometown of Portland, OR.
Author of the Good Bottled Beer Guide and The Book of Beer Knowledge, Jeff Evans is an eight-time editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and one of Britain's best-known beer writers.
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