New Brew: Oskar Blues Gubna Imperial IPA

25 Mar

Malt, malt, go away - let the hops come out and play.

It’s officially spring!  While Wisconsin is always a little late in getting the memo (last weekend’s snow shower after a 60 degree week, for example), warmer temps flip a switch on my palate and I start to crave beers with strong hop profiles.  Oskar Blues has been making damn good beer in outdoors-friendly(er) cans for those eco-nerds in Colorado since 2002 and was instrumental in changing people’s opinions of what beer-in-a-can could be.  They don’t make a bad beer, so I had nothing but positive thoughts when I heard they had canned an imperial IPA.

Beer: Oskar Blues Gubna Imperial IPA

Style: Imperial/Double IPA

Vitals: 10.0% abv; 100 IBUs; Summit hops; dark Munich, rye, and 2-row barley malts

Company Line: “Emphasizing that complexity of character can arise from simple elements, this ale is made with 3 malts and 1 hop. Its light amber color and slightly spicy malt character are derived from the use of German Dark Munich Malt and Rye Malt respectively. North American 2-row barley combines with the other grains to lay the foundation for the hop onslaught to come. Summit hops are used exclusively in the boil for bitterness, flavor and aroma but it doesn’t end there. Post-fermentation dry hopping allows the 10% ABV monstrosity to gently coax the citrus rind and grapefruit aroma to join the 100 IBUs already present. This beer will greet you with a pungent citrus blast, provide a spicy yet round middle and finish with a brisk, clean bitterness. –

My take: pours a clear, golden amber in the glass topped with a dense white sudsy foam. Nose bristles with prickly herbal/resinous hops and citrus peel.  Bitterness hits the palate first but quickly rounds into an intense, nectar-like malt sweetness with notes of dried apricot and marmalade. Finish is grassy and herbaceous while the mouthfeel is dense, but dry due to the high alcohol content and late hop additions.  Gubna is a technically tight double IPA that touches all its bases without going overboard in hopping or strength.  As refined as its Cockney-inspired moniker would suggest.

Sells for around $14/4-pack at Barriques Middleton.

One Response to “New Brew: Oskar Blues Gubna Imperial IPA”


  1. New Brew: Central Waters Illumination Double IPA « 43north/89west - June 30, 2010

    […] beer palates two weekends ago, gave many of us an impression of cooked vegetables reminiscent of Oscar Blues’ Gubna.  While not entirely unpleasant, it wasn’t exactly desirable and distracted somewhat from […]

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