Coronado Brewing 18th Anniversary Imperial IPA
The kind folks at Coronado Brewing offered me a sample of their latest anniversary ale which was a big one — 18 years! Yes, this San Diego brewery started around the same time as the now mammoth Stone Brewing Company. In honor of this birthday, they put together a big ‘ole West Coast Imperial IPA under their Crown Series. This limited release bomber offers up everything that defines the big hop-smack IPA found up and down the Pacific coast.
How it Pours
Upon opening and pouring, my nostrils were greeted by an upfront pungent grapefruit aroma. Lots of dry hopping here. Another deeper whiff brought out some light spicy pine aromatics. Citrus and pine — the hop head’s dream! Interestingly, it poured a very hazy deep orange almost bronze color. I’m guessing they opted not to filter this one in order to retain as much hop character as possible. It wasn’t cloudy full of hop matter but more of that chill haze that just lets a little light pass through. Along with this haze was a big fluffy white head with some sticky lacing along the sides of the glass.
How it Drinks
I had high hopes for the actual flavor given the aroma and presentation, and I wasn’t disappointed. You are greeted with a nice mild bitterness up-front supported by a light bready malt character in the background. It has a medium body which coats your tongue and mouth with a medium-low carbonation level. This then washes down with a robust bitterness and extremely dry finish. This is where that signature West Coast profile makes it’s mark as a true palate wrecker. The dryness is accentuated by a moderate alcohol warmth but not quite what you would expect from a 10% ABV.
As you work your way through the bottle, your senses dull a bit and that initially jarring big hop bitterness becomes quite pleasant. This is a satisfying, well-hopped, imperial IPA true to form for a long-standing San Diego brewery. I definitely recommend you give this one a try if you need a big hop fix.
I continue to be very impressed with Coronado’s beers and it is no wonder they racked up a bunch of awards at the Great American Beer Festival, Olympics of brewing, and World Beer Cup. Don’t pass them up at the store if you want to taste a quality San Diego brewery.
Malt Profile: Two Row, Light Caramel Malt, Wheat Malt (perhaps this is why it was a little hazy)
Hop Profile: Nugget, Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic
Yeast Profile: California Ale