1. Mikkeller 1000 IBU
IBU stands for International Bittering Units, which, you guessed it, measures the bitterness of a beer. However, high malt quantity requires high bitterness for balance, so just because a beer has a high IBU does not necessarily mean that it's really bitter. A strong stout might have more IBUs than a pale ale, but the pale ale probably has more of an upfront bitter taste. You with me? So the scale (technically) stops at 100. So "1000 IBU" is like saying, let's give this 1000%! And there's some smack-you-in-the-face bitterness in this beer. I'm enjoying hoppy beers more and more but certain combinations and amounts of hops don't work for me. As excited as I was about this beer, I wasn't feeling the flavor. I could handle the extremity of the hops, but I didn't really enjoy the flavor they put forth. It was that biscuity grapefruit type of hop taste that I don't really enjoy. I still love you Mikkeller.
Overall Rating: B-
2. Rogue 21 Ale
At this point, I think I'm legally obligated to buy any Rogue beer I haven't tried before, if not for the fact that I love the brewery, then for the fact that I have a shelf full of bottles that I've saved from them. So I sucked up the $20 for this beer. The beer commemorates brewmaster John Maier's 21st in an annual series of different beers brewed for the Oregon Brewers Festival. The 21 Ale is an old ale, made with Rogue-grown hops among others, oats, molasses, licorice and a bevvy of other ingredients, resulting in a very bready, malty beer with a bitter aftertaste. Little earthy. Thick but not really carbonated. Definitely not my favorite from Rogue, and I don't think it's worth $20, but I'm not bummed for supporting a great brewery.
Overall Rating: B