Beer Review: Backlash’s Outbreak


Negligent blogger has been negligent. Yes, yes I know. I figured I’d do a quick review while waiting for the Patriots/Broncos game to start. Today’s beer is Backlash Beer Company‘s Outbreak. Outbreak is a double IPA, and the second (of three) beers in their Uprising! Series. I reviewed Catalyst, the first beer in the series, earlier this year and really enjoyed it so I have high hopes for Outbreak.

From Backlash:

The Uprising! series is a lot of 3 beers – Catalyst, Outbreak and Riot — that leverage the malt bill from Salute while bringing epic proportions of different hops to your respective mouth holes.

IBU: 85
ABV: 8.5%

Not too much information, but I happen to know the primary hop in this beer is Mosaic, aka “Citra on Steroids.” Mosaic is a relatively new hop on the scene and is supposed to have a whole produce section’s worth of tropical fruit flavors and aromas. Let’s see how it goes.

Backlash Outbreak 1

BeerAdvocate: 88, N/A
RateBeer: N/A
Untappd: 3.80

Appearance: This looks a lot like your standard IPA/DIPA in color, and there’s a good amount of haze to this beer. Not quite as much haze as Trillium’s New Roots, but certainly not as clear as Sam Adams’ Rebel. The head is a small-bubbled off-white that leaves strong lacing along the glass. The color is orange, not quite amber but darker than “golden.” I’d say 7-9 SRM.

Smell: This beer was released in August, and I’m drinking it in November and there is still a hop kick right in my olfactory factory. There’s a dankness, a hint of the so-called “cat-piss” smell that comes from Citra and Simcoe, but there’s also the smell of over-ripe fruit. Mango and peach, definitely. I’m also getting slight hints of blueberry, which is supposed to be a marker of Mosaic. Some lemon and citrus as well, and also a bit of bready character. I’m guessing this is because the hops have diminished and I’m catching a little malt.

Taste: Oh yeah. There’s so much hop flavor here the beer actually tastes sweet. I’m getting blueberry, tropical fruit, mango, orange, and lemon. The finish has more of a pine/dank resinous-ness to it, but the bitterness doesn’t linger or strip the palate. I wouldn’t guess this IPA was the 85 IBUs it claims because this is so smooth, with the bitterness coming in late at the finish.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is pretty light on this beer, but it is enough to keep the beer smooth, almost creamy along the tongue (that’s what she said). This beer definitely tastes fresh even after almost 4 months. Definitely a dry finish and no booziness. After dangerous drinker.

Final Verdict: 4.5 out of 5. Buy it.

I’m all-in on this Uprising! Series from Backlash. I’m not the world’s biggest Belgian and/or saison fan, so their readily available beers aren’t in my wheelhouse, but the one-offs that they’ve done have been awesome. Catalyst was almost perfect, and Outbreak is just as good. This is exactly the kind of IPA/DIPA I’d love to see more breweries make: heavily focused on the hop flavor and aroma instead of trying to punish my poor tongue with an Alpha Acid H-Bomb.

Backlash Outbreak 2

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