The label tells us to “Go big or go home,” but at 9.1% ABV, this certified organic 22ozer out of Chico, CA is more likely to send you home. Big certainly describes this Imperial IPA well. Big and potent. And pretty enjoyable. If you like your beers strong, and you’re fond of IPAs (I’m guessing you probably are), you will dig BCB’s X IPA.
The aroma is surprisingly meek in introducing this ale. Lacking almost entirely of a hoppy scent, there is only a hint of sweet malt. But once it’s on its way in, you quickly realize the deception. This baby’s a heavy hitter. Most of the hoppiness is bittering, but it offsets the maltiness nicely, mounting a two-pronged attack on the tongue. That is, while it evades the over-potent alcohol flavor, which doesn’t meld quite well enough for my taste. It takes an excellent beer to taste smooth over 8% or so, and while this one’s pretty good, I don’t think it quite pulls off the potency. Perhaps if it were a bit heavier on flavoring hops.
The body is medium-heavy, with a slight, not unpleasant tendency towards the syrupy texture I often find in higher gravity ales. It has a decent, quickly dissipating head and a golden hue with copper highlights.
Overall, this is a good beer, great for jump-starting the evening (helloooo Saturday night!) or for somebody into those heavier IPAs, or just as an alternative to your regular IPA.