When you drink a beer—an IPA especially—with an ABV of 9.2%, you expect to taste something, right? You would think that the sharp stink of alcohol would be laced all through it, liquid more like rubbing alcohol than anything else. Of course, we're talking craft breweries, so they would never put out something actually akin to rubbing alcohol. But still. 9.2% is not messing around. Which is why Breckenridge Brewery's 471 Double IPA is such a weird beer.

The 471 series is a small batch collection Breckenridge puts out on occasion. I sampled the Double IPA (double indicating how many times it was hopped). The brewers at Breckenridge tout the sweetness of the beer, which is bested only by the mean, hoppy finish. As per the finish, it's the most flavorful moment here, a strong, alcohol-rich flavor that slowly recedes, something like a wave pulling away from the coast. Everything beforehand is surprisingly bland; the most remarkable quality at fist gulp, in my case, was the temperature: the fridge kept this damn cold. The temperature could, in fact, have been keeping the beer from expressing itself fully. And with more sipping over time, a flavor did come into relief, but only in the form of an increasingly strong aftertaste. The finish is mean. But until you get there, there isn't much else to report on.

471 Double IPA
Breckenridge Brewery
Available as long as supplies last