Phillips Brewing Co. – 13 Knots in a Hangman’s Noose 13th Anniversary IPA W/ Hop Drop
Phillips Brewing Co. – 13 Knots in a Hangman’s Noose 13th Anniversary IPA W/ Hop Drop Review
The Phillips Brewing Company has made a habit of releasing anniversary beers matching the years under their belt with the alcohol percentage of each beer. In the 13th year of brewing the Phillips team had to get creative as beer in British Columbia can only be sold up to a maximum of 11.9% before climbing into a higher rate of taxation. Getting clever and taking advantage of the new Phillips Fermentorium we are given the Hop Drop. The 13th anniversary beer is a big IPA which comes with a small 29% hop based liqueur designed to be added to the beer for an extra kick of hops and alcohol. With the Hop Drop in play the 13 Knots in a Hangman’s Noose is bumped up to an age appropriate 13% for your drinking pleasure.
When it boils down to the beer itself we are coming into this with an expectation of intensity and big flavour. The beer pours a clear, golden-straw colour with three+ fingers of erupting head. The head settles slowly leaving a fair bit of lacing on the sides of the glass. After you pour the beer, as recommended add a proportionate amount of the Hop Drop to the beer. It is worth noting the differences here before and after the addition as well. Before adding the drop the beer smells of a big IPA with tropical fruit tones, light citrus and a ton of hops. There is a soft sweetness to the beer as well and a surprising lack of booziness. If you smell the Hop Drop it is an odd combination of gin aroma, Grand Marnier and northwest piney hops. Once combined the beer takes on a slightly cloudy colour and seems to gain a slightly creamier and boozier aroma. Despite the smell not being overly boozy the flavour has quite a kick to it. The tropical fruit tones come through with a citrus hop and a slap across the face. Once you add the Hop drop this is turned up well past 11 all the way to 13. With the Hop Drop the hop profile is stepped up but even more so the booziness comes out of the woodwork. Becoming more of an aperitif than your typical beer this is one to sip with some friends as a solo mission may leave you down for the count.
If you so choose to try the hop drop on its own the flavour comes in like a hop infused Vodka with a touch of Grand Marnier and a piney hop finish. It is actually quite pleasant on its own. Personally, as a whole I would stick to the beer on its own then enjoy the Hop Drop separately. The idea is great and it is a unique twist to the beer-cocktail idea but in this case the flavour is slightly better when enjoyed separately – Plus, then you are more likely to remember it.
Alcohol – 11.9% – 13.0% (With Hop Drop)
Size – 650ml + 45ml
Price – $6.90 (Craft Retailer)
If you were wondering on how to make the alcohol calculation here is how it is done:
(650ml * .119 + 45ml *.29) / 695ml = 13.0%