Thursday, August 16, 2012

Alpine Beer Company - Toronado 25th Anniversary Ale

I'll be completely honest- this post was not supposed to be about Alpine and New Belgium's new collaboration: Super IPA. But sometimes, things come along that are just too important to wait. In this case, it's the arrival of what very well may be the best IPA I've ever had.

Alpine Beer Company is far from being new to brewing good IPAs. With beers like Nelson, Bad Boy and Pure Hoppiness, Alpine's resume is as good (if not better) as anyone in the industry. Never afraid to expand their IPA resume, Alpine brewed yet another IPA to celebrate Toronados' (the one in San Francisco) 25th anniversary. They brewed this beer as a double version of one of their most popular IPAs- Nelson. Double Nelson??? Yes, please! Luckily for me, the San Diego Toronados was able to get a keg of it and I tried it yesterday.

Toronado 25th Anniversary Ale pours a glowing apricot color with a thin tan head. The smell was absolutely incredible. A huge, fragrant mix of mango, grapefruit, marijuana, mint and hop resin practically billowed from the glass. I don't know if I've ever come across a beer that smelled this fantastic.

I didn't think it could be done, but somehow Alpine got this beer to taste as good as it smells. It's an absolute atomic bomb of citrus hops that somehow retains enough of a malt backbone to keep it in check. Hints of tropical fruit, rye and resin pop out all over the place in this one, giving it incredible depth. For a long time, I didn't think anything out there could unseat the Plinys atop the IPA throne, but this absolutely blows them out of the water. It's not even close. This beer likely won't be around for long, so do not pass it up if you're lucky enough to find it. It easily may be the best beer you've ever had. Bravo, Alpine!

Final Grade: A+

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 39

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