Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fat Heads Hop Juju

I am a big fan of Fat Heads Brewing.  Head Hunter IPA is absolutely one of my favorite IPA's on the market.  So when I heard about Hop Juju, their double ipa, I expected great things.  I first learned of the beers greatness while watching the live stream of the Great American Beer Festival awards ceremony.  Hop Juju won the gold medal over Three Floyds Permanent Funeral.  Having had Permanent Funeral last year at Dark Lord Day and being quite impressed with it, I was eager to try Hop Juju.  So when it was bottled, I made a trade for it, and boom....here we go.

Let me preface by saying this review is a culmination of 3 separate drinking occasions.  To be perfectly honest, the first I consumed this beer I drank a different beer prior to pouring the Juju.  I was also cooking a fragrant meal for my family.  The second time drinking this I was home alone.  Nothing going on.  The third time was at a recent bottle share where I shared my last 2 bottles with drinking buddies.

The beer pours a slightly dark orange color and is crystal clear.  Poured into a tulip glass.  The first thing that goes wrong for me here is the nose.  It's weak.  I expected this beer to deliver a face smacking aroma that I would feel in my spine...it did not.  In fact, until the third time I drank it I really didn't get much out of the nose.  The taster pour I had at the bottle share provided me with light tropical fruit aromas with a touch of pine and citrus.  So it's got a lot going on, just not overpowering in any way.  Which is fine.

Taste is a really nice mix of all of those hop flavors.  Pineapple, Mango, grapefruit, and pine bitterness are all evident.  Well blended and incredibly easy to drink.  Smooth.  The mouthfeel is perfectly full as any good DIPA should be.  Has pretty strong resin to it and has that "will chip away at the enamel of your teeth" kind of quality.  Nice lacing on the glass as well.

All in all, I give it a 4/5.  I understand why it won Gold at the GABF.  It's incredibly true to style.  GABF is about the truest beers to style.  To me, Permanent Funeral is a lot more aggressive than Juju but Juju has all the elements of winner in a contest.  That being said I liked PF better.  Truth to style doesn't always mean that the beer is incredible.  There wasn't any one particular thing about Juju to me that was mind blowing or life changing...other than how true to style it is.

Additionally, just because I wouldn't put it in a top 10 of DIPA's doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it.  It's a really good beer.  In fact I recently traded for more!  Definitely worth a buy.

The Big Guy: I don't have a lot more to say that Kevin hasn't already put out there. After having Head Hunter I was not expecting the extreme resiny quality of this beer. It went far enough into the piney resiny spectrum that it could be considered dank with its big piney and earthy hop profiles. Along with all this dank goodness there was an impressive amount of tropical fruit hops to help brighten it up and a nice subtle sweet malt character. It ended with a great bitter slap in the face that really closed it out well. I thought it was well balanced and a beautiful IPA all in, but I agree with Kevin that it's a 4

Be on the look out because my local liquor store guy told me we should be expecting a limited supply of this hoppy treat to hit Indy in the next few weeks.

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