I believe I’ve gone on record as saying that Phillips has a penchant for making very strange limited releases. Beers that have interesting names, concepts and inspiration behind them, yes? Yes I think I say that just about every time they make a new release.
And their special 11th anniversary release was no exception. For their 10th anniversary, Phillips chose to release a 10% Double IPA to mark the occasion. And in keeping with that tradition, an their 11th is being marked by an 11% extra strong India Pale Ale. And it would be no exaggeration to say that it is a rather interesting signature creation!
What sets this ale apart, aside from the sheer strength of its malts, is the amount and variety of hops they added. This began with hops being added pre-boil, and then added every 11 minutes over a 111 minute boil period for a grand total of 11 hop additions, plus a dry hop when it was all over. That’s twelve different infusions of hops, and this certainly comes through in the taste!
Appearance: Clear, golden amber, slightly cloudy
Nose: A layered assortment of hop aromas, at once bitter, floral, herbal, citrusy and dry
Taste: Strong sweat malts, giving way to burst of pineapple, citrus fruit and dry hops
Aftertaste: Coarse malt finish combined with lingering bitterness
As far as experimenting goes, this beer was definitely one of the most adventurous I’ve ever had. On the one hand, it is characteristic of am IPA, with strong malts and a hefty dose of bitter, citrus hops. But it goes a few steps beyond this with its extra strength, delivering rich and coarse malts, and a staggering variety of hop flavors and scents. I’m curious to see what they might try for their 12th, not to mention ever year thereafter. They can’t keep upping the strength forever, right? Sure, we’ve all heard of barley wine, but eventually, all you’ve got is whiskey 😉