A Little Venom Won’t Hurt You…

Here’s the second installment of Maxwell Randall’s Pacific Northwest Field Notes. Opa!

I heard through the beer grapevine that The Noble Fir (one of my favorite Seattle beer bars) was tapping Hop Venom IPA — brewed by our friends at Boneyard in Bend Oregon.
According to the Boneyard website, this brew comes in at 10% abv, but BeerAdvocate suggests it’s 8.6% abv, so for now I’m going to trust Boneyard’s website and assume that it’s 10% abv.
I was stoked when I heard they were tapping this beer because Boneyard has being getting a lot of hype around the Pacific Northwest as of late, especially for their IPA’s, and I was eager to try Hop Venom because it’s a limited release.
I was tired last night after a long day of work, but I still managed to drag my ass across the bridge to Ballard to try some of this beer…long story short… it 100% did not disappoint.
I had 2 glasses of Hop Venom IPA — and then — because it’s so hard to get I figured I should probably get a growler while it was available (thanks to Rick and Ellen at The Noble Fir for making this happen).  I’m writing this review based on some of the beer poured from my growler into a snifter tulip.

The pour is absolutely beautiful.  When you hold the glass up to light this beer literally looks like a California sunset.
It’s a gorgeous beer with about a half of a finger of pure white fluffy head. The nose is straight up pine, mango, grapefruit, citra hops, cascade hops, satsuma oranges, and just minor traces of that big abv.
It smells like your typical West Coast double ipa.  If you have been fortunate enough to have tasted Pliny the Younger (my friend, East Indio, aka, Slamlatitude, wants me to point out that I’m talking about Pliny the Younger the beer, not the person!), then you can imagine a pretty similar smell.  The taste is heavenly.
All the scents you get in the nose of this beer come through tenfold in the taste, imagine everything you just smelled, but turned up to 11.  From what I’ve read about this beer, one of Boneyard’s goals was to not have it be bitter, like your typical IPA.  If that was their goal, then they totally nailed it.
Hop Venom is smooth, clean, and crisp.  It reminds me of a mix between Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale and Russian River Pliny the Elder.
I’ve had about 4 glasses now…and I can safely say Hop Venom is my new favorite IPA.  Now, if only Boneyard Brews were easier to find! Right now Boneyard is only available on tap, and outside of Oregon it’s very hard to find, that’s why I feel so fortunate to have been able to get a growler of this incredible beer.
The word on the street is that once Boneyard moves into a new/bigger facility they’re going to start canning their beer.  I can’t wait!  Check out the Boneyard tap list.
Hop Venom IPA gets a 10 out of 10 from me.