I realized recently that it had been a minute since I had posted a beer review and thought what better occasion to remedy that mortal sin than upon pouring my one and perhaps only, Sticky Hands Marmalade canned pint. Brewed by Block15 Brewing Company in the best damned college town in the USA, Corvallis, Oregon – Sticky Hands Marmalade takes the base Sticky Hands Hop Experience IIPA recipe and flips the script on the usual hopping parameters with Amarillo, Appolo, Belma, and Chinook hops. This results in a citrusy, peachy, slightly sour marmaladeriffic Imperial IPA. It looks hazy and mysterious as it pours and settles, deceptively calm as it waits for consumption.
Easily up there with the Tropical Slam one-off, I was absolutely gutted when I thought I was not going to get to sample this ambrosia due to a perfect storm of financial embarrassment and lack of transport. Enter the BFF to save the day with a single pint can in the form of a late birthday present. I even waited an additional 24 hours because my palate had been corrupted by lesser ales before the hand-off.
Good Afternoon, amigos y amigas. I was sitting down to read and enjoy a tasty libation this afternoon and while looking at my bookmarks I noticed WordPress Dashboard and that I have a blog. More importantly, I remembered that this blog is called PINTS and Protest…and it has been far too long since I mentioned pints.
Now, any good beer snob will tell you at length of the greatness that is Russian River Brewing’s Pliny the Elder Imperial IPA. It is something of a Holy Grail amongst those in the know.
As a self-proclaimed IPA aficionado, it is nearly criminal that it has taken me this long to quaff the legendary brew.
Both tastings this weekend were with a cleansed palate and an open mind. Seeing that it took me so long to finally wet my whistle, I feel confident that I did not go into this experience in danger of falling victim to the curse of the “Over-Hype”. I even had one yesterday and one today to make sure I wasn’t hastily jumping to conclusions.
All of this having been said. It was good. I gave it a 4.5 out of 5 stars on Untappd. I enjoyed the experience of trying a new to me, highly sought after beer. However, it was not the upper echelon IPA that most make it out to be. I would call it the Ruth’s Chris of IPAs. Decent, but not top shelf. Vortex IPA by Fort George comes to mind as an easily superior example of the craft and it is not even a true Imperial IPA. Hell, Ruination is a better Imperial in my opinion. Nothing against Stone Brewing by the way.
At first I thought it may have been over-hyped, but the more I ponder, the more I am convinced that the previous scarcity of the brew is the main contributor to its notoriety. Now that it is somewhat easier to obtain (I found it by asking my local market’s beer guy if he had any hiding in the back), I believe its reputation will self-correct to a more realistic level.