The Valiant Lineup: Jericho
Part 2 in our ongoing series of posts introducing you to the Valiant family of beers. Today’s installment: Jericho.
Craft breweries love to make beers that stand out from the crowd—and hops’ incredible spectrum of flavors and aromas offers an excellent way to do this. Here on the West Coast, it’s tough not to find a heavily hopped IPA or Imperial IPA with aroma-busting, mouth-puckering bitterness. And let’s face it: fans of these classic West Coast hoppy beers just aren’t satisfied with anything else!
Part of our Pillars of Strength series, Valiant’s Imperial IPA takes a stand and pushes the boundaries even farther—by delicately balancing the true nature of what we feel an Imperial IPA should be. And we agree with fans of this beer style: it’s all about the hops. Those little green clone buds provide almost endless amounts of aroma, flavor, bitterness, and overall character—but just throwing various hops (and lots of them) into the mix doesn’t mean you’re going to have a great Imperial IPA.
Jericho is strategically hopped during key aspects of the brewing process, resulting in an approachable Imperial IPA that everyone can enjoy.
At the beginning of each sip, you’ll taste the initial hop flavor and slight malty backbone; then the bitterness ramps up to take you by surprise. It’s like a roller coaster ride—but you’re not moving anywhere. We’ve taken care of that for you!
To help achieve this roller coaster hop profile, we spent a great deal of time studying the relationship of malt and hops. We have deliberately chosen to go as light on the malt profile as we could without making it watery-tasting—just light enough to help bring out our unique hop profile. This technique allows the hops flavor to burst in your mouth before coming to a dry finish. The balance of malty sweetness and hops is key to Jericho’s flavor profile.
After years of trying to perfect the Imperial IPA, we’re impressed by the complexity of these beers. Jericho offers a wonderful array of fruity, citrusy scents like orange, lemon, tangerine, and grapefruit. The flavor profile is similar, but because of the high hop oil content combined with carbonation, the feel is silky smooth in your mouth; that’s before hop flavors like orange and cumquats, and a slight sticky sweet malt taste, kick in. Our selective yeast allows all the hop flavors and aromas to take total precedence and doesn’t fight against the careful crafting of the flavor profile. This one’s a sipper — a beer to savor.
Imperial IPAs—sometimes called Double IPAs—typically have an ABV above 7.5%. Jericho logs in at 10.5%. It’s a style believed to have gotten its start in 1994 at a Temecula brewery that, unfortunately, is no longer with us—though the owner is now the co-owner and brewmaster at Russian River Brewing Co. (Ever heard of Pliny the Elder? This Russian River beer has set the stage for Imperial IPAs.)
IPAs are known to have short shelf lives because of oxidation occurring among the hops. Keeping IPAs cool will help stave off—but will not completely prevent—spoilage. We have taken this into account and developed a unique hop profile that allows Jericho to be stored and enjoyed later, without sacrificing the flavor profile. We recommend storing Jericho upright in a cold, dark area at temperatures around 38°F—that way you can enjoy it months later. While letting it age longer may lessen the hop aroma, it will provide more depth and concentration of the beer’s flavors. Really, there’s no wrong choice!
Recommended serving temperature is 50 – 54°F; a snifter will allow you to perfectly capture the true essences of our hop profile.
Pairing any kind of IPA with food might not usually occur to you—but Jericho is an excellent pairing with everything from grilled lamb, beef brisket, and chicken-fried steak, to spicy food like curries or Mexican dishes. If you’re enjoying it with appetizers, cheeses with high levels of bleu cheese melt in your mouth if followed by a sip of Jericho. For desserts, stick to citrus flavors in dishes like sherbet or grapefruit flambé.
Jericho is an eye-opener for fans of West Coast IPAs, and a big hit with beer drinkers who steer clear of heavily hopped beers that may not focus quite so much on flavor balancing. We’re excited for you to get to know Jericho!