(Edit: 1/8/2017. Having a fresh bottle (with a new label), it seems that the previous sample was a bad or old bottle. Drinking one given to me a few days ago from a distributor, yes, I'd say bright and citrus-y. The elephant is gone from the label art and replaced with a better illustration of a human-handed bison with antlers. And the beer inside is an excellent example of just the kind of IPA I like to drink. Either it was re-formulated, or I did not get the best bottle available for the prior review.)
If there's anything bound to drive me to purchase a bottle of beer, well, if there are TWO things, it's this: a picture of an elephant, and a nonsense word. If there's a picture of an elephant, that means India Pale Ale, and just like every other sucker on the vine, I'm drawn to try them all. As for the nonsense word, it usually points to hippies and jam bands, and though I don't like their music, or their body odor, they usually make good beer.
We got both on the label of Hookiebobb IPA (6.7% ABV, 87 IBU) from Crazy Mountain Brewing Company, of Edward, CO/Vail Valley, CO. I'd like to share more information from the label, but they chose to use blue colored type over a black background. Not that easy to read, fellas. Did you run out of white ink, or what?
So, let's open up a bottle and sample our first Crazy Mountain beer. (I have had another of their beers, over a year ago on tap at a downtown Minneapolis bar, and I wasn't thrilled, but I'm also not a big fan of ESBs, so there.)
Murky, opaque dark magenta coloring, with a solid white head, lasting and little bit lacy. Not especially to my liking.
Aroma: sweet and first, with bitterness beneath. Dark fruits, apples, and cherries. Definitely more in the English-style framework.
Taste: Tingly, tangy hops bite the palate just a bit, and the flavor is swallowed up by a balanced sweetness. Bits of caramel-y malt underneath, with the same darker fruit notes found in the nose making their mark in the mouth. Medium-bodied, overall hop bitterness is on the low side, but this hits all the right notes for an English-style IPA. It's a good beer, and you can drink it. I just wouldn't return to it, too often.
Let's see if my eyes are up to reading the gobbledygook. "A Colorado approach to an American take on an English classic. Three aggressive yet floral American hops and one hop from Down Under team together to make a bright, citrusy and floral India Pale Ale. A deep caramel malt helps to balance the bitterness of the hops and lets the complex hop bill shine."
Some of that is simply not true. At no point does my mind reach out for the words bright or citrus-y. Well, maybe a little, but not much. Certainly could be brighter and citrus-ier, if it wanted to be.