I first discovered Viven Imperial IPA back in May 2011 when I visited Bruges for the first time, it was in a large spacious lounge style bar call De Republiek. This is what I had to say about it back then:
“De Republiek – Described as an American Diner meets Student Union, we had no idea what to expect when we made our way to De Repbliek. On entering it’s a large open plan room with small raised alcoved areas and a wooden floor, a large bar with details of cocktails, food and upcoming events dominate one side. This though was where I made my personal best beer discovery of the week (Westveleren aside), it was the Viven Imperial IPA… It’s a really outstanding beer, pouring a reddish amber colour with punch you in the face fruity American hops.
Now for a beer that I rate so highly you may be thinking that’s a pretty piss poor review and you’d be quite right, however this has to go in my top beers list so I plan to revisit again to revel in it’s full glory…”
So here we are almost six months down the line, probably a dozen or more bottles sunk and hopefully in a better place to comment on a truly outstanding imperial IPA.
Well here goes, it’s hazy reddish-orange in the glass with busy bubbling white head which lingers around the glass from the first sip to the last dregs.
The aroma, oh my goodness THE AROMA! Great big nose filling fruity aromas of Tomahawk and Simcoe hops, for a Belgian beer it’s very much in an American IPA style with tropical fruits aplenty. Lychee, mango, grapefruit tangerine all with a light strawberry undertone. This follows through on the taste, a real flavour bomb medley of citrus fruit, with hints of strawberry and lychee completing the 5 a day in a glass. A freshly cut fruit salad mouthful….
This beer is a real hop monster, but it also has a great mouthful of caramel malty balance, all of which hides it’s beefy 8% ABV dangerously well. A beer you just don’t want to end and definitely one of my favourite beer discoveries this year.
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Please sign the Government petition against unfair taxation on beers over 7.5% ABV, click HERE