Back to the Madhouse

A while back I wrote about Madhouse Brewing’s Pastime Pale Ale and Honey Pilsner.  Now, Madhouse Brewing is back with Hopburst IPA and Coffee Stout.

Hopburst is described as “balanced with huge additions of our unique hop blend.”  The hops are Warrior, Cascade, Centennial, Amarillo, Citra, and Simcoe. That may set a record for different strains of hops in one beer.  Well:

There is no doubt that this a very hop forward beer.  The description says that the hops are added late in the boil, so there is not the smack you in the teeth hop aroma that you get from dry hopped beers–for better or for worse, you be the judge.

The bitterness (55 IBU) and alcohol (7.2% ABV) are balanced by the malt base, so the beer does not come off as a one note hop explosion or burst, if you will.  Nonetheless, this is a beer you pick up if you are looking for a very particular American style of beer.

If I have one criticism of American craft beer right now it is that brewers are forgetting the other components of beer in favor of being the most extreme in terms of hops.  Rarely do you see a brewer talk about the yeast strains or the base malts or adjuncts.  It is hops, hops, hops…

Nonetheless, I found Hopburst to be an enjoyable beer.  Madhouse’s Coffee Stout on the other hand:

Moderate in alcohol (6.0% ABV) and right at the traditional level of bitterness for a stout (40 IBU) I found this beer to be very unappealing.  The coffee flavor came across as “burnt gas station swill” rather than “coffee house excellent.”  Thus, the beer comes across much more bitter than its IBU would lead you to believe.

On top of the bitterness, the body of the beer was thin.  Ugh.  If you want to taste a beer that does a coffee addition right, get yourself up to Minneapolis for a Surly Coffee Bender.




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