Wild Rose is a local Calgary brewery located in a now defunct Canadian Armed Forces barracks. Wild Rose makes a solid roster of session beers spanning most styles but they really hit their stride with their seasonal and special offerings. The most recent (literally released yesterday) in a line of awesome seasonal beers is the Hoptimal Imperial IPA. Hoptimal is brewed with a blend of four hops; Summit, Newport, Cascade & Columbus. These hop varietals are indigenous to the Pacific NW and Cascade and Columbus in particular are usual suspects in Imperial IPA’s. Hoptimal is brewed to 8% ABV and is available in Calgary in 650 mL bottles and draft (select locations) for a short time.
Hoptimal pours a bright golden copper with a sheen of hoppy orange. The head is a thick and foamy mess that dies slowly to a marshmallow like surface while leaving a huge band of sticky lacing on the glass. Nosing the glass, a huge puff of resinous and floral hops with intense grapefruit aromas and mild pine scents. Smelling further I notice a hint of lightly toasted caramel malts and more huge floral hop aromas. Mild honey sweetness and light toasty caramel malts are quickly overtaken by moderately heavy hop flavors and a light acidic backbone. Big grapefruit and citrus fruits accompany floral and pine resin notes in the middle with an awesome smack of bitterness. The hops are definitely potent and poignant in Hoptimal despite lacking an overall lengthy bitterness. Warming alcohol and hops on the finish round the beer off well. This isn’t exactly the pine and resin bombs of San Diego but this is a simple and straightforward Double IPA with a great execution. The full bodied resinous smack is there with gorgeous floral and citrus hops combining well. A moderate bitterness perhaps lacks the overall oomph of this style, but regardless this is a simple but well done Imperial IPA.
Price: $7.00 / 650 mL