Like the great philosopher once said:
Elephunk: The Basics
- Brewery: Odell Brewing Company (Fort Collins, CO)
- Style: Imperial Wild IPA
- ABV: 9.9%
- IBU: 33
Elephunk: The Details
This is one sexy beer. The question is: do I want to have relations with it? Scratch that…let’s forget I even brought that up. This wild IPA is something else for sure. Wild IPAs aren’t necessarily a new sub-category for the much-loved ale or a fad, but it is somewhat rare. Not all of them work for me and that all comes down that crazy yeast called Brett (or Brettanomyces if you’re not into the whole brevity thing). Brett can make or break a beer for me. Maybe some of you get where I’m coming from. Sometimes a beer with Brett can taste like Band-Aids and, well, I’d rather chew on them if that’s the taste I want lingering in my mouth. Elephunk, on the other hand, has a funky, tart fruitiness to it that I really appreciate. The kind of funkiness that twitches the tongue, makes your shoulders shiver, and then tingles all the way down your spine.
This barrel-aged wild IPA pours a dark amber color. The head is faint and off-white that lingers throughout. Man, does this beer smell good. It’s tart with just a bit of barnyard funk. Really take your time sniffing this one out. You get hit with the tropical fruits and stone fruit notes, but behind that, you’ll get some brown sugar, caramel, oak, and a little pine (the bottle is only dated as 2017). It reminds me of some of the dry-hopped sours I had living in San Francisco from Almanac Beer Company. The taste matches up with the nose yet exceeds it. It starts off sweet and then the tartness and pure funk sneak up on your tongue. There are hints of green apple, peach, pineapple, hints of lime, and vanilla. The sweetness and oak traits play well with the acidic vinegar elements. On the finish is when you get a slight bitterness from the hops. For being an imperial IPA, Elephunk is crisp and light, and the high ABV is undetectable which could be fatal.
I mean, I highly recommend this extraordinary beer. I’d be interested to see how this beer tastes when it is first released and see how it ages after a year or so. Elephunk has a great balance of the wild yeast strains, oak aging, and base IPA. I kept going back for more, and I just might have to pick up a few more bottles (to enjoy now and much later on). This is a good beer to break up the monotony of IPAs. Or if you’re into sours this is another good example of what’s being produced within the state, and it offers a little something extra with the hops. If you need the funk and gotta have that funk, this is a beer worth tearing the roof off.