The number thirteen may be unlucky for some, but not for Ballistic Beer - the 13th beer in their Sleep When You’re Dead series is a tasty example of a style that’s largely fallen out of favour.
It brings together the Simcoe, Mosaic, Centennial, Chinook and Warrior hops, pairs them with a trio of malts, and lets the smooth chaos of flavours begin. Espresso cut with a slice of lemon peel, a grapefruit cooked in the coals of a fire, sticky resin embedded with roast malt, blanketing your tongue in darkness and dankness.
When it comes to black IPAs, I think there’s a duality inherent to the style - that mix of intense roasted malt and powerful hops is like listening to heavy metal and jazz at the same time. There’s a lot going on, and it can be hard to distinguish the individual elements. But when it’s done well, you can always just sit back, close your eyes, and let the chaos wash over you.