3/27/24: HighGrain Brewing Company's Ibex

6:10 PM

This is the final March post of 2024, which means it's my last bock season. I was happy to find this (at the tail-end of February) on the build-your-own shelves of my local bottleshop. Having only had great experiences with the brewery, I eagerly threw it in my pack.

My unopened can of Ibex.

The brewery? HighGrain. The beer? Ibex, their Weizenbock. Let's see how she's drinking.

HighGrain's a local brewery (which opened just down the road from where I lived in Cincy just after I left). They're dedicated to making beer brewed with sustainability in mind, and they're doing all they can to leave behind a healthy carbon footprint. They're also opening up a second location this year!

Ibex, which (as of this writing) is listed on their Beer Menu, is a 7.1% ABV Weizenbock (so, the heartiest bock I'm having this season) that's sold with a full body and notes of clove, banana, and plum.

The nose here's caramel, wheat, honey, Concord grape, a little bit of lemon zest, and some good yeastiness. True to what's promised, I get some banana, some plum, and a good wallop of clove. Diving back in for a second whiff, I'm sussing out raisin and toffee before the booze wafts from the can, all dry and Belgian dubbel- or tripel-like. This bouquet is great. It starts as something that seems simple but opens and develops more fully as you explore it.

Purrl, unfortunately, was more focused on her coming dinner than she was passing her judgement onto the beer. She refused to give it a sniff.

Purrl refusing to give my beer the time of day.

Banana and clove are on the front of Ibex's palate, followed closely by a bit of plum, which is joined by toffee, raisin wheat, caramel, and some yeast. There's a whole "freshly-baked loaf of banana-raisin bread" happening here. The finish is hot, both from a bit of boozy warmth and a combination of (perceived, I'm sure) spices. It's clove (not perceived), cinnamon, and something hotter than those two. It's all delicious.

The mouthfeel on the bock's full and creamy (as you'd expect from a wheat beer), but there's a bit of bite around the edges (which probably has more to do with the flavor profile than the body).

Ibex is a biergarten sort of beer. It's a beer you sit and enjoy with friends on a sunny, brisk spring day while live oompah music plays somewhere nearby. There's a gentle, cool breeze, but you're wearing a light jacket so you're not bothered. Even if you were, the beer would be warming you up shortly.

HighGrain's Ibex is, without a single doubt, the best beer I've had this season and it's a hell of a send off to Bock Month '24. The stuff in my can's a solid 9.5/10. It's great and I'd suggest you grab it while it's still around. I hope it'll be back next year, but there's never a guarantee with seasonals. What I'm saying is: Don't miss it!

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