Review: Jukebox Distorsion American IPABières Jukebox is a new brand out of Montréal which is (I assume) brewed on contract by the folks over at Brasseur de Montréal. The craft beer scene in Quebec is booming more than most beer scenes in North America, partly to do with a bit of a prohibitionist culture through SAQ, where it's nearly impossible for non-Quebec breweries to market/sell their beer in the province, so this pushes for a local-first attitude when it comes to beer.. and seeing how many microbreweries are popping up all over la belle province, the population truly appreciates what comes out of their backyard. It's expensive to build your own brewery from scratch, you have to have capital, warehouse space, hundreds of dollars in equipment and when you're just starting out.. that's a lot of dough, so for Jukebox to brew their beer through Brasseur de Montréal, it saves them a bit of money at the start to help them develop the brand sooner and get the beer into beer geeks' bellies sooner than if they built their own brewery.
One of their staple beers is what I'll be reviewing today, their Distorsion American IPA, is described as being brewed with a ridiculous amount of exotic hops and promises to be what an American IPA should taste like. Quebec IPAs in general have been pretty above average, it can't compete with West Coast IPAs (or even prairie IPAs in some aspects), but the amount of pride, joy and effort put into every beer by nearly every Quebec microbrewery shows that the brewers out in Quebec truly care about beer.. it's apart of their culture and identity!
Appearance: I've had a lot of hoppy IPAs in the last 4-5 days now, but this is by far the thickest IPA I've had in weeks. It's a very thick and cloudy golden orange ale. Incredibly carbonated and fizzy when pouring, lots of bubbling action - akin to a soda. The head is a creamy beige and really doesn't go down as I continue to review this beer, it laces the side of the glass nicely though.
Aroma: The folks over at Jukebox weren't lying about using a ridiculous amount of hops. I can smell the hops from a foot and half away from me, it's a really parfumic hop & malt bomb. A great medley of floral hops like cascade, giving it a bit of a pine & alfalfa aroma to it. As well, it's also quite heavy on the sweet maltiness as well, with a sweet honey (and light pineapple) maltiness to it.
Taste: Certainly not AS bitter as a West Coast IPA, the hops and sweet malt collaborate to give it a great kick. A bit of a tropical flavour from the sweetness and a medium amount of bitterness from the hops to give it a floral alfalfa taste to it. Has a bit of that homebrew IPA taste to it in the middle of the tongue, giving it a bit of "you can tell this is made in small batches" kind of quality to it.
Overall Thoughts: Very solid IPA, quite bitter, but quite tropical in sweetness in a sense. Very catchy name just like Hops & Robbers out of Ontario. This would do really well out west as it is a great example of American IPAs, not quite West Coast, but a great East meets West style. Taste wise, it reminds me a bit of Flying Monkeys' Smashbomb Atomic IPA a bit, but a bit more bitter to it. Love hops? Love sweet maltiness? Hate Keiths? You'd love this. 7.0% ABV