Reviewed: Odell Mountain Standard IPA
Official description: This is Mountain Standard, a tribute to our backyard and the Rocky Mountain lifestyle. Hand-selected, modern American hop varieties build layers of complex hop flavors with juicy, tropical notes and bold, vibrant aromas. Join us as we help define the Mountain-Style IPA. 6.5% ABV, 39 IBUs.
Odell Brewing Co. – Odell Mountain Standard IPA – 12oz can served in stemless snifter – 6.5% ABV
Odell has quite an interesting core lineup that includes a fantastic fruited Berliner Weisse, Sippin’ Pretty, a pale lager, and several IPAs. New for 2019, Mountain Standard joins the year-round portfolio and seems to have jumped in where we left out with Odell’s Wolf Picker Experimental IPA. That beer was delightful with bright hop aromas, no specialty malt, and very low bitterness. Unfortunately, Wolf Picker is a seasonal offering only. Odell’s webpage for Mountain Standard describes it as sitting between a clear, West Coast IPA and a New England IPA. So how does it compare?
First, at the bottom of the can I see a date of “6/18/19” which is obviously a Best By Date, but that isn’t made immediately clear and could be an issue if someone is picking up an old pack of beer in the future. I would like to see a packaging date as well to line up with current competitors. As it stands, it seems that Odell has given this IPA a 4-month long freshness window – identical to Wolf Picker. Into the glass, Mountain Standard is slightly hazy, pale straw in color with oily, off-white foam that sticks around for several minutes. The aroma bursts immediately with white peach, white grape, white grapefruit, vanilla cake, and brioche. They nailed the aroma hops on this one.
Flavor-wise, this continues the theme from Wolf Picker by being big on aroma hops and low on bitterness. I was surprised by how low the bitterness was on Wolf Picker, but Mountain Standard seems to have forgotten kettle hops entirely. Overall bitterness is at a 1/10. That is actually not unheard of for some New England-style IPAs, but I was hoping this would be more middle of the road with at least some bittering hop presence. Without any bitterness, flavors revolve around the water profile, which is salty and intensely minerally. Sweetness is also low at a 3/10, making the beer rather weak and dull with little substance. The end result is more like a fragrant blonde ale or super light session IPA. It doesn’t seem to match up with its stats feeling closer to 4% ABV and 10 IBUs.
I do think Odell is on the right track with making these highly aromatic, super drinkable, blonde IPAs. But I would like to see some real bitterness, even if dialed back quite a bit, in the vein of Wolf Picker IPA, which was the best IPA I’ve had from Odell to date. It may be that since Odell has several other IPAs in its lineup that Mountain Standard is the perfect addition for those looking for something super mild in comparison. Without a doubt, you get all the beautiful hop aromas without any hop bitterness – a major draw for hazy IPA lovers. But in terms of finding a middle ground between West Coast clear IPA and New England-style hazy IPA, Mountain Standard could use some tweaks.
* * *
The Full Pint is a fully independent website dedicated to bringing you the highest quality reviews of today’s craft beer. Our team has no financial conflicts of interest with the beer industry in order to give you the least biased information out there in today’s craft beer world. Please use the comment section below for general comments about this beer and/or our review. If you would like to see a specific beer reviewed or have general comments on reviews, please email info(at)thefullpint.com. For more information on how we review beer read here.