Thursday, 28 April 2016
Gotham is a sinister black imperial IPA from Toronto standout Bellwoods Brewery. Twitter told me that this brew was available, and within 36 hours I was at the bottle shop picking up a 500mL bottle of the stuff (as well as a handful of their other excellent offerings). The label of this 8% ale features an imposing municipal skyline and an admonition to drink the stuff fresh.
The beer isn't actually all that dark--it's an attractive mahogany ale with amber highlights, underneath a dense and durable cream head. The scent of this bad boy is dominant, with chunky hops taking the pole position, but with a really compelling stone fruit sweetness not far behind. The flavour, too, is bitter first, but bolstered by a slightly honeyed plummy sweetness. There is also a modest splash of rummy heat.
I often rave about Bellwoods' acumen for making elite beers, but there's something really special about Gotham. What works about it is it's delicious and unusual flavour--this is an imperial IPA, a black IPA that doesn't taste like everything else on the market. At just 8%, I don't think it's quite strong enough to merit the "imperial" designation, and it's a touch too sweet, but this was a beer I couldn't put down.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10.