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Brew review: Karbach’s Quintuple IPA

Editor’s note: This review appears courtesy of the excellent local website 

Check them out for Houston craft beer reviews, brewery guides, and follow them on Instagram @beerchroniclehou for everything Houston craft beer related. They will be providing occasional reviews for Houston Sports and Stuff.


Quintuple IPA

Karbach Brewing Co.

Houston, TX

Quintuple IPA

ABV: 11.91%

IBUs: 85

Stars: 4 out of 5

Packaging: 22 oz. Bomber

To begin with, Karbach Quintuple IPA is is more complex than an angry woman. It’s brewed with five different hop varieties, five different types of grains, and five different fermentables. It’s a beer they brewed to honor their fifth anniversary, and it’s completely ridiculous.

The flavor of Quintuple IPA changes drastically as it warms up, and everything intensifies. As you take a sip, it starts off somewhat boozy, then it gets very sweet and malty without any distinct toffee, caramel or coffee malt flavor, just malty in general. As it goes down, it gets a subtle bitterness that lingers a little and intensifies in between sips, but then something else happens if you wait between sips. As if by magic, there’s a second after taste that creeps in and it’s hop flavor and maltiness. It’s almost as if each sip gives you two different experiences as the flavors linger and change.

In addition, this beer is pure proof that not all IBU is created equally. It rings in at 85, but it doesn’t taste like it at all. The hop bitterness is definitely overpowered by the malty sweetness. When it was nice and cold, it wasn’t very boozy or powerful, but all the flavors grew as it warmed up.

Nothing compares to this quintuple IPA. Period.

I was one of the last ones of the Beer Chronicle bunch to drink this beer, so I had their opinions influencing me. They didn’t love it, but I think it was great, all things considered. I think I like it so much because it’s really creative, yet really drinkable despite the high ABV.

Quintuple IPA is clear, and it has a rich, golden color. It pours with a medium-thick, two finger head that lingers a little bit. The lace crawls down the glass in an odd, spotty, sort of way. It is less like lace and more like polka dots. It has a medium-light mouth feel with lots of tiny bubbles.

I expected to hate it, honestly. When I first got it, I thought it was gonna be great, but then Nick and Chris tasted theirs before me, and neither of them loved it. They were quite vocal about it in our group text, so they influenced my expectations. However, I disagreed with both of them. I really like it.

This artwork is unique, and one of a kind. You can’t miss it if you’re a Karbach fan. It’s got a big orange 5 with the words Quintuple IPA above it. This all sits on a crazy illustration of all things Karbach, paying homage to the beers that paved the way. You’ll spot things like the Hopadillo, The blue Three Legged Lab dog, the Staycation pool and lawn chair, and the drunken Krunkin Pumpkin etc. It’s super busy, and if you know Karbach, it’s hard to miss. This all sits on a baby blue, sky-like background.

As far as I know, this is only available via bomber at finer stores like HEB and Spec’s. Chris grabbed a handful of them at his last big Spec’s haul, and handed them out to the team.


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