I will have plenty of reviews from the very hyped up Chicago brewery Pipeworks Brewing Company coming your way now! First up I have from their Ninja series, Simcoe! Simcoe is part of their series of Imperial IPAs that showcase all different hops, this one in particular is obviously showcasing Simcoe. Simcoe is easily one of my favorite hops so I was very excited to get my hands on this one. In the past I have had their Amarillo and Cascade Ninjas and frankly have been a bit underwhelmed by them especially considering all the hype behind these beers. I won’t let that cloud my judgement here though. Simcoe comes in at 9.5% ABV and does not list IBUs.
Appearance: Hazy deep copper almost amber color. On the real dark end of the spectrum of Doubles I would say. Thick 1 finger head with really great sticky lacing.
Nose: Pine, resin, tropical and citrus fruit in the nose up front. Especially getting a lot of mango. Lot of sweet and bready malt in the nose as well. Malt almost dominates the hoppy aspect of the nose and you can definitely tell this is a big ABV beer.
Taste/Mouth: Sweet and malty up front some bitterness to follow and then a lot of heat from the alcohol, way more than I would like to be getting. Finishes semi dry and sticky. Some tropical fruits and pine carrying over from the nose into the taste. The mouthfeel is very thick and almost syrupy. The syrupy mouth and heat are problematic here I think, as well as the overwhelming maltiness with a lack of real hop presence especially “showcasing” such a great hop.
Availability/Price: $10 for a bomber and the Ninja series seems to rotate as different hops become available.
Overall: Continue to be a bit underwhelmed by this series especially considering all the hype it gets. I do like Pipeworks a lot and what they do and will continue to buy their beers and continue to buy this series. I think they use the same malt bill and hop additions for all the Ninjas maybe and it doesn’t necessarily work with every hop variety? Either way not sure if I will revisit this particular one unless I hear the recipe changed. Definitely give this one a try for yourself though, I would recommend going in with a friend for sure!