Strathcona Left Imperial IPA Bottle

Try This Beer – Strathcona Beer Co. Left Imperial IPA

The winter seasonal release from Strathcona Beer Company in East Vancouver is the Left Imperial IPA.  You need to try this beer.

Near the end of last year the IPA pendulum appeared to be swinging back toward hops and very hoppy beers.  The trend of creating hoppier and hoppier IPAs had abated around late 2015 making room for other styles like sours.  But by late 2016 things shifted again, as they so often do, bringing back more IPAs of different stripes.  We noticed Double IPAs again, as well as North East IPAs, and fruity IPAs.  This year the trend seems to be toward the Milkshake IPA like the Shake Your Fruity I recommended a couple of weeks ago.

And although the milkshake IPA trend is in full swing, us hop heads can get excited that IPAs are again popular and we can get our hands on beers like the Left Imperial IPA from Strathcona Beer Company.

 Strathcona Left Imperial IPA

Why the recommendation?

Which brings us to the question: why am I recommending you try this beer?

Because Left is refreshingly strong and bitter and that’s what draws me to this Double IPA.  It’s got a full malt bill giving it a thicker mouthfeel along with some perceived sweetness.  Although that may also be related to the higher ABV – this one comes in at a whopping 10.4%.  

With an IBU of 100 you might expect a massive bitter bomb.  Instead, the malt and hops are well balanced making it a relatively smooth Imperial IPA.  Yet an Imperial IPA that still brings forth some fruity hop notes to go right alongside that maltier body.

As a hop-head I am always eager to try out any new IPA, especially if it’s a style I’ve not had before or a brewery trying its hand at something special.  In spite of this, I still love coming back to those classic West Coast, Cascadian IPA hop aromas and flavours.  Sure it’s nostalgia, but I do really love a great IPA with citrus, fruit, and pine notes.

This one may or may not be your cup of tea but I recommend you find it – either at the brewery or on tap around town – and try it out for yourself.  It’s strong but relatively balanced.  There’s lots of fruity characteristics from the malt and hop combination that may appeal to those who prefer the fruitier styles of IPAs.  And the bitterness is well disguised so in spite of the 100 IBU it shouldn’t send people running for a spoonful of sugar.

Try this beer while you can, though I do recommend sharing it with a friend or two as the higher ABV can sneak up on you!

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