Oskar Blues is a Colarado based brewery I’ve been in love with for a long time. Whether it was ‘Dales Pale Ale’, ‘G’Knight’, ‘Death By Coconut’ (one of my all-time favorites) or their immensely popular ‘Ten Fidy’ imperial stout, the brewery from the Rockies knows what the heck they’re doing. In the last few years, they releaseda throwback IPA called ‘Pinner‘, which I utterly adored. It is the perfect sub five percent IPA. So when I saw a passionfruit version of it, you know I had to try it.
The first time I had Pinner was almost two years ago when I was in Scotland, & I believe my first impression was ‘THIS is the new standard by which all ~5% IPA’s will now be measured … Just holy shit!!!‘ Now, my good buddy Rob Derbyshire from HopZine believed ‘Easy Jack’ by Firestone Walker was/is a better beer than Pinner. I’ll agree to disagree with Rob on this one (despite the fact I think that ‘Easy Jack’ is a ridiculously easy drinkable beer).
When I had Pinner for the first time, it immediately took me to the exact same place that Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo took me; a place where you can’t believe beer like this is available & where the heck was it all along?
Into the glass it powers cleanly with a wonderful golden off-orange colour, with a nice creamy head that retains enough for me to be glad to see it, even if it does up & fuck off by the time the first mouthful is taken. The carbonation on it is lively without being a lemming on acid. The body of it is medium, with a wonderful dry finish which adds to the enjoyment.
Standard ‘Pinner’ is absolutely loaded with tropical island fruits such as pineapple, zesty bright juicy orange, tart grapefruit, partnered with some wonderful lemongrass & a blueberry-esqueness. Passionfruit Pinner carries all that, but the passionfruit is the predominent fruit here, with the rest playing their supporting parts sublimely with a hint of some blood orange, that just adds some zip to the passionfruit notes.
Beers ike this are oftej described as ‘crushable’ or ‘sessionable’. I think the former while not wholly fair to the beer, is more apt that ‘sessiobale’ which I equate to inoffensiveness or unremarkable. I dislike these terms as it takes beer down from being interesting tosomething like background noise. And, I feel those terms are a disservice to a brewer that has turned out a good, solid, interesting beer ot note. I’d rather call it an entertaining beer, which pays more hommage to its character.