Creeper is an annually released double IPA from Columbus Brewing Company. After hearing enough rave reviews, I managed to track it down at The Pint Room in Dublin (FYI: they have beer samples for $1-$1.50, in any number, which is awesome. And great burgers. I can’t say enough good things.).
From across the bar, this might fool you. It is pale blonde with a thin head, not far off from a typical adjunct lager. Get it anywhere near your face, though, and you’ll figure it out quickly. Like your unwashed coworker, you can smell this one coming. The hop-dominated aroma is quite sharp; full of pine and grapefruit. The taste is smoother than the aroma suggests, and a big, sweet orange flavor joins pine and grapefruit up front. There are herbal and woody notes through the mid palate, and it finishes with just a hiccup of harshness and a little alcohol warmth. It is satisfyingly full-bodied, but unfortunately quite sweet.
I’ve always said that if you can’t tell your malty double IPA from a hoppy barleywine (or vice-versa), you’re probably in the right ballpark. In this case though, we have a beer stacked deep with hop complexity and only a facepunch of sweet barley from the malt. The hop flavor make this beer undeniably delicious, but CBC ought to resolve this beer’s identity crisis. It needs either a ten point drop in final gravity (double IPA) or a big leap in malt complexity (American barleywine) to take this beer from good to great.