Fall Over Juice Simtra, 11.25% abv Triple IPA
The sun is playing a particularly mischievous game of hide and seek with the help of a handful of cheeky clouds when I settled down to open this rather bland lookin’ bottle from a Californian brewery rarely seen on these shores. The name “Simtra” held a world of promise though. Simcoe and Citra. Hop elite (don’t tell the other hops I said that). The indicated figures then drew forth a crooked smile, the right side of 11% boozy bits by volume and 131 whole bitter points! If it really wanted to it could probl'y send off a coupon and claim a toaster or somethin’.
I popped the cap and poured the gorgeous marshmallow topped rusty marmelade coloured liquid into my glass and took a great nose full. If you took a few oranges, a grapefruit, a whole pine bough, a carton of tropical fruit juice, and a splash of rum then blended it all together and snorted it through a straw (srsly good fun btw, y'all should try it) it may be similar to this.
From the aroma (and the sometimes slightly confusing “Triple IPA” tag) I was expecting a bit of a hop bomb and it really didn’t disappoint. Imagine sticking your face over the business end of one of those comical gramophone barreled blunderbusses you see in old English period comedy flicks just as it goes off, thing is it’d been loaded with all kindsa lovely stuff instead of ball bearings and nails and fox poo. There’s orange flavoured toffee, peach and mango cobbler, candied citrus zest, and pine needles all blasting you in the face and it’s bloody marvelous!
Some beers grouped as triple IPA’s come very close to American barley wine territory, but not this one, this is most definitely an IPA. The malt’s there don’t get me wrong, it’s caramel covered biscuit goodness offers support where it’s needed with depth and balance in the middle, but it’s those intense and oh so sexy hops that are the stars. They infuse a mouth coating, intensely fruity and resinous quality and leave their mark long after the beer’s gone down with a palate crushing bitterness. It’s full, chewy, and dry and dangerously easy to drink with that booze feeling far less than stated, at least ‘til you try to stand up after the first glass or attempt to post a pic of it to Instagram and realise your fingers have turned to rubber. I’m a big fan though I’ll readily admit it ain’t for everyone. If, however, you dream of hops and get all jittery without a regular lupulin fix, get some of this down your neck. Cheers!