Big beer, big malt, big chill.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. commissioned the beer masters over at Sound Brewery in Polusbo, Washington to create three limited release, special edition brews to celebrate the commercial success of Mortal Kombat X/XL (PS4, Xbox One and PC). This is the second of a three-part series review.
If you were a kid in the early 1990s, you will most likely recognize the blue-garbed ninja Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat. He is, after all, only the second-most ubiquitous character in the game next to Scorpion (aside from them being bitter “mortal” enemies…pun intended).
HOT: At lower temperatures, it feels like a 7-Eleven Icee for adults going down your throat. At higher temps, it has a mellow, almost calming character–all while maintaining a decently positioned ABV level.
NOT: It seems almost too mellow for an Imperial IPA, regardless of temperature.
Sub-Zero Imperial IPA First Splash
Assuming you are drinking it straight from the refrigerator, the Sub-Zero Imperial IPA feels like a beer-flavored icicle; there is this interesting clamoring for taste bud attention from both the malt and the hops. It is as though it has split personality disorder once it finally settles in your mouth after the first sip.
It sounds strange, but despite what the bottle description says, it doesn’t feel so much as a”fight for supremacy” as it does a race to the bottom for mellowness.
Sub-Zero Imperial IPA High Notes
This beer is a unique one–it manages to be an IPA without adding a smattering of hops to leave you dazed, and also without being overly sweet with adding a tonne of malt. It’s an almost perfect blend of the two.
That being said, the strong point of the Sub-Zero Imperial IPA is its mouth feel. It’s not a pine blast obliteration like a lot of high alcohol content IPAs out there these days. It is refreshing but it’s certainly no slouch when it comes to boozy flavor.
Sub-Zero Imperial IPA Low Notes
As invigorating as this beer may be, it just doesn’t have the same robust body compared to other Imperial IPAs. Despite its 8.5 percent ABV, the alcoholic warmth and carbonation leave a little something to be desired. It appears to be less dimensional compared to Scorpion’s champion beer.
Perhaps it’s because of its even keel nature, or maybe it is the malt/hops selection. Either way, it feels like Sound Brewery could’ve taken it a step further with the ingredients.
This one is relatively easy. Any fresco foods would work fine. Strong cheese based appetizers, chicken pastas, mild jalapeno dishes, barbecue sauce based dishes, caramel dishes and desserts, etc.
Is Mortal Kombat X: Sub-Zero Imperial IPA a Year-Round Drinker?
I’d say yes. The balance of hops and malts, although limiting in its own way, actually suits this beer to be something I would enjoy for any season. Lo, if I had the opportunity to grab a nice warm stout in the winter, or a pleasantly spiced lager in the fall, I’d take those, obviously. However if this is all I have on the shelf, I’m not going to ignore it…not by a long shot.
Beer BB’s Hoptastic Rating: 4.1/5.0