Gubna - Oskar Blues Brewery, Longmont
My first impressions of Oskar Blues were less than ideal. As a guy who doesn't like overly hopped or bitter beers, it probably isn't the best idea to get acquainted with a brewery by trying their hoppiest and most bitter beer... Well, hindsight is 20/20 and I have since gained more respect for Oskar Blues' beer. I've been holding on to these cans of Gubna for a while now, knowing that an Imperial IPA isn't something I want to jump right in to. After drinking the One Hit Wonder last week I'm anxious to try the Gubna to compare the two and see what all the hype is about with the Gubna.
Gubna is a 10% ABV Imperial IPA that pours a warm golden color with just a little haziness in the body and very little head at the top of the glass. This beer definitely smells like an IPA with a truck-load of hops brewed into it. There's a resinous quality to the hops that doesn't quite reach Barleywine levels but does smell like a handful of sap covered pine needles and fresh grass clippings.
The flavor of the Gubna isn't quite in line with the aroma, and I'm thankful for that. Oskar Blues' Gubna tastes more malty than the aroma would suggest. There is a stinging alcohol burn that lingers on your lips just as the back of your tongue is hit by a pile of leafy hops. It's not my ideal IPA but I can respect what Oskar Blues is doing here. I did end up enjoying the Gubna more than I expected. The hoppy flavor is a welcome change from the overwhelming bitterness that generally comes from big IPAs like this.
If you're a hop head looking for a quality double digit Imperial IPA, Gubna is worth looking into. I can't say it'd be my first pick for a hoppy IPA when I go out, but if it's the only option on the menu I wouldn't be terribly upset.