Epic IMP, has just been released in time for the coming summer holiday season.
Brewed as a session IPA, it is SMALL (4.7% alc/vol) and MISCHIEVOUS (generously dry hopped like an IPA. It has more dry hop than the Epic Armageddon IPA).
When poured the aroma hits you with sweet ripe summer stone fruit and citrus as you look at its brilliantly polished pale copper colour. The flavour is of fruity citrus peel intertwined with a juicy caramel note, which finishes with a sharp but brief slap of bitterness. It drinks as though it’s much bigger than a responsible 4.7%, due to the malty body and the vibrant hop intensity.
Epic beers have continuously grown in flavour, intensity and alcohol volume since exploding on the beer market in 2006, with the Supreme Champion trophy winner, Epic Pale Ale 5.4% (recent winner of Best in Class Pale Ale 2014 New World Awards). Armageddon IPA 6.66% which is not only the multi trophy winning IPA that put IPA’s on the map in New Zealand, but has gone on to be the most successful craft beer export from New Zealand, lead by the Swedish market. Hop Zombie 8.5% is the darling of the craft beer drinking community, and not just because of the glow in the dark label. Lupulingus 9% best described as a brutal assault on your palate, for only the bravest amongst us.
With the ever increasing challenge of brewing the next IPA even bigger than the last, brewer Luke Nicholas decided to take on the scary task of brewing a beer that was sub 5% alc/vol but still keep the big hop aromas and flavours that Epic has become famous for around the world. From the taste of this beer it looks to have been a success.
There has been speculation on what IMP stands for, such as “Imperial Miniature Pale”, “Indian Midget Pale” or even “Internet Mana Party”. It’s simply just “Imp”. When looking for a beer name, it had to be able to describe a lower alcohol beer, while also still being EPIC.
Back in 2008 when naming their first IPA, friend Neil Miller (Beer Writer of the Year 2014), came up with the name “Armageddon” (as it was bigger than their beer “Mayhem” at the time). Neil was also asked to help write the copy for the Armageddon bottle label. This is the first recorded reference of the term Imp being used. He coined the term “impish brewer” due to head brewer and owner Luke Nicholas being small (well smaller than Neil) and mischievous (making strong and flavourful beers). Many of the Epic beer bottle labels have little imp’s hidden on them.
The new beer release is accompanied with some fabulous art work which was inspired by the Robert Louis Stevenson story “The bottle imp”. (you can read this short story here http://imp.epicbeer.com)