I’ve always dreamed of visiting Telluride. The chance to ogle at cascading mountains, diving deep into the box canyon crevice that is Telluride. Previously a Victorian mining center, the quaint town has preserved many of the historical buildings and monuments that beckon thousands of visitors year-round.
This year, Telluride clocked in a whopping 95 inches of snow in January – a record-setting snowfall over the past 40 years! Avalanche mitigation troops were called to duty, blasting the snow on Ajax Peak, which caused a torrential downpour of fresh white powder. Videos capture the mind-blowing event, pun intended.
In my six years of Colorado residency, I have yet to visit Telluride to witness the natural beauty and small-town charm. Until I have the opportunity, I’ve settled for a Telluride-based beer, in a quest for a brew equally as strong as the avalanche blasts.
This pursuit landed me with a can of FISHwater Douple IPA by Telluride Brewing Company. The brewery boasts an impressive title as one of the highest elevation breweries in the world; not to be confused with Colorado reefer high, although hops are close compound cousins when it comes to looks and smell.
FISHwater: The Basics
- Brewery: Telluride Brewing Company (Telluride, CO)
- Style: Double IPA
- ABV: 8.5%
- IBU: 82
FISHwater: The Details
With our beloved Broncos blue and orange colors, the can artwork sells the brew – bold, brazen, beer. Not to mention with an 8.5% ABV, this beer is right up my alley of believing in “more bang for your buck.”
A beautiful copper-orange hue when poured, a small head appears only to disappear quickly, leaving a thin trace of lace behind. Perhaps it was the natural outdoor lighting or the sun setting in the distance, but I found the color one of the most brilliant and bright in a Double IPA.
A tip of the glass to the nose and down went the excite-o-meter. For a stronger expression of hopped ale, I expected the brew to pack an aroma punch. Traces of hops wafted up as the beer warmed, however, nothing on the nose made this beer stand out. If it weren’t for the label, I would have guessed based on smell alone that I tasted a lower ABV normal IPA.
Redemption was gained within a few sips. It’s quite possible my nose was not cooperating but where the smeller slacked, the taste buds came to the rescue. Piney, bitter hops were at the forefront balanced sweetly with a subtle malt background – now I truly believed I was enjoying a DIPA. A more subdued Earthy herbal kick said hello as the wave of beer washed over the tail end of my taste buds en route to my tummy – yum!
With minimal carbonation and a slight watery aspect, I drank this beer quite fast to maintain the elusive flavor profile. To my dismay, that wonderful balance of sweet malt and piney hops I mentioned seemed to disappear as quickly as it went down the hatch.
Would I drink this beer again? Definitely. Would I recommend you drink this beer? Of course! Is it my favorite DIPA ever? Not particularly.
FISHwater is a wonderful double IPA for those venturing into the world of a stronger hopped ales. It won’t knock your socks off, but it is enjoyable. Whether you’re kicking back at the end of a long day, attending football tailgates with friends, or complimenting your Saturday evening meal, FISHwater pairs swimmingly with many occasions.
Perhaps someday, one of these beer-drinking occasions will be watching the controlled avalanche blast on Telluride’s Ajax Peak!