Old Wooden Head Imperial IPA

Review Date 3/11/2016   Last Updated 3/5/2020  By John Staradumsky

They’re at it again. Those crazy modern day beer geeks are out there with their crazy theories about the perishability of India Pale Ale. IPA, Double IPA, Triple IPA, it doesn’t seem to matter to these folks, you have to drink it 5 minutes after the born on date and even that’s pushing your luck. Maybe their problem is they only drink those modern-style, one-dimensional, no malt IPAs. Maybe if they’d try an IPA (imperial IPA mind you) like Burnt Hickory Old Wooden Head Imperial IPA, they’d learn the folly of their musings.

I say this because I sat on (well, not really sat on but stored in my beer fridge) a bottle of Old Wooden Head for just about a year and the results were awe-inspiring. I definitely enjoyed my bottle and it hadn’t turned into a pumpkin ale (imagine that). If I’ve said it one I’ve said it a thousand times: if you can’t age an uber-hopped, immensely malty imperial IPA, what can you age?

From the brewery website:

John Bell Hood was called “Old Wooden Head” by his troops fo/r his tenacity and hard headed-ness. Our ale is just that. Full of hops (how many? we donʼt know) Full of Malt (we/ shut a whole field down) this extreme gravity beer will not stop until you surrender to itʼs amazing flavor.

Burnt Hickory Old Wooden Head Imperial IPA has an alcohol content of 10% by volume and I paid $9.99 for a bomber, about average for what bombers go for these days.

Burnt Hickory Old Wooden Head Imperial IPA pours to a hazy orange color with a thick creamy tan head of foam and a rather citric hoppy nose. Taking a sip the beer has a big chewy caramel malt palate up front followed by big citrusy hop flavors of bitter lemon rind and then a massive dry herbal bitterness. Indeed, the herbal-grassiness here reminds me of Unterberg bitters and it permeates the smooth malt. The beer ends boozy with a hint of phenols and alcohol warmth. Smooth and drinkable, Old Wooden Head has MALT, which I think comes out all the more with the aging. Remember malt? I’m glad Burnt Hickory does…..

Update 3/5/2020: Old Wooden Head on tap at Taco Mac! Wonderful full bodied malt with loads of shop and a warming alcohol, dry bitter finish. Love it! $9.25 for an 11-ounce glass.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned