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This next beer was a nostalgic pickup for me.  One of the first brews I ever considered a  favorite, it also started my long-running love of the Red IPA/Imperial Red Ale style.  Lately it hasn’t been as common a sighting as it once was, so when I saw it on the shelf the other day I knew it was time to get re-acquainted.

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Beer Name: G’Knight

Brewer: Oskar Blues Brewery

Style: Imperial Red IPA

ABV: 8.7%

Description: The brewery offers a brief description of the beer and its back story on their website.  In brief, what we have here is a dry-hopped red DIPA that’s not afraid to show off some malts along with its contingent of sticky hops.  After pouring my first glass I noticed that my six-pack was canned on 1/28/2016, which some might consider a bit old for a hop-centric beer.  I’m not a huge stickler for things like that, but past experiences still might have made me think twice had I noticed this in the store.  Since the place wasn’t even open in January, I am definitely going to keep this in mind on my next visit.  Price was a nice $10.49 for a six-pack of 12 oz. cans.

Appearance: Poured a reddish, deep amber body topped off by a healthy finger and a half of a light tan/off-white foamy head.  The foam slowly dissipated to a thin covering for most of the beer’s time in the glass.

Smell: An inviting blend of caramel and toffee malts stood out a top a more subdued piney bitterness.

Taste: Started out with a heavy dose of sweet caramel malts that transitioned into a moderate piney, resinous bitterness about halfway through.  These two tastes were both distinct and yet they blended together seamlessly.  The alcohol was well hidden, only showing up on the finish after the beer had been sitting for a little while.

Mouthfeel: Body was on the thicker side with a smooth, creamy feeling.  A moderate amount of carbonation added a bubbly tingle on the end, just in time to put some more focus on the hops.  Very well suited to carrying the flavor profile.

Hype Factor: Just my excitement about going back to an old favorite.  This beer has been around for quite some time now and generally isn’t that hard to come by at stores that carry this brewery.

Overall: My initial concerns about the canned date were mostly unfounded.  The beer was just about as good as I remember it and I still consider it to be the shining example of its style.  Something about combining caramel malts and piney hops really makes my mouth happy and this beer does that perhaps better than any other I have tasted.  I want to say the finish wasn’t quite as hoppy as I remember (especially when consumed from the can), but I would prefer to try a fresher sample before totally committing to that opinion.  Regardless, I was still very happy with the pickup.

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