The Vermonster

The Vermonster
The Vermonster is an ale brewed by Rocka Art Brewery in Morrisville, Vermont. Slightly special in my heart because I grew up in Vermont. I’ve been through Morrisville many a time as a kid.

The Vermonster is made with 110 pounds of malt per barrel, and is 100 IBU in the hop department. This heavyweight is 10% ABV. I took this chance to google “IBU” to learn more about it. I learned that IBU stands for International Bitterness Units. Thank you wikipedia. 100 IBU is pretty damn strong. For example, an IPA comes in the ballpark of 40 IBU, while a stout is around 80 IBU…generally speaking of course.

Anyhow, back to the review…

As I poured the beer, I began uncontrollably saying “SO PRETTY” over and over. Partially to make my wife laugh, and partially because the dark brown beer combined with the swirling bubbles and sediment WAS pretty! At first I began getting disappointed at the lack of head, however the beer fooled me and I soon found head pouring over the edge of the glass! A happy surprise.

As I sit writing this, I see flecks of white floating all through the Vermonster. At first I thought I had used a rather dirty glass, but that isn’t the case. What are these magical white bits?

I’m going to be completely honest here…I have no idea what I’m doing with a 100 IBU Ale. What should I be tasting for? It tastes like a spicy, hoppy shotgun blast into my mouth. I will say that the 110lbs of malt do come through at the beginning of the sip, but quickly turns to hoppy bitterness in the back of your mouth. Seems like there should be more to this…what tastes should I be looking for?

If you have suggestions on how I can analyze a beer like this, please comment!

Author: Joshua Dion

I write about beer in an un-intimidating way, welcoming beer lovers of all experience levels.

5 thoughts on “The Vermonster”

  1. 100 IBUs is pretty huge, and generally comes in the territory of DIPAs or US barley wines. Goose Island IPA weights in at about 60 as I recall, and most stouts are around 40. With a young beer 100 IBUs can be pretty harsh, and aging mellows this out into a rounded bitterness, but it also depends how the hops were added. Lots of late hopping will give massive hop flavours and aroma, but either way, 100 would, to me, suggest lots of peppery spiciness. With that ABV and the amount of malt used I would imagine this to be well balanced between malty goodness and hoppy intensity. Mmm.

    I made a barley wine before Christmas that has an estimated 106 IBUs. I don’t plan on drinking this until next Chrismas. Well, apart from a couple of tasters in the summer. Quality control you know :)

  2. Actually, it seems the Vermonster is exactly what I thought it might be, an American Barleywine. Of this type, I’ve only tasted Sierra Nevada Bigfoot (2007) and it was delicious. It has 105 IBUs I think, but it was probably at least a year old when I drank it.

    As for my own, I modelled it after the SN Barleywine 😀

    I’d not killing me really. At least not yet. I only bottled it last weekend, and I have about 50 bottles of my own smoked stout, pale rye ale and alt, as well as about 50 different commercial beers sitting in the cellar to keep temptation at bay 😀

  3. Well, considering flight time, tomorrow evening might be more workable 😛

    The thing is, that’s almost 50 different beers, which makes choosing difficult sometimes…

    All in the name of research. *cough*

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