LONG KNOWN FOR stalwart if somewhat staid brews like Supper Club or Wisconsin Amber, Capital Brewing recently revamped its flavor and form with a nautically-themed trio of IPAs: the black Dark Voyage, white Ghost Ship, and Mutiny, ironically the flagship of the three. The trio still flies Capital’s fundamental colors, though, and never intended to boast the firepower necessary to dent Dreadnaught’s sides, for instance. Nonetheless the three represent a new tack for the brewery and one pass is sufficient to show that the changes are more than just cosmetic.
Mutiny would have poured a clear amber but for the large yeast flakes that hang in suspension, marring somewhat an appealing presentation. Its aroma is densely packed with marmalade, orange, caramel, a little bread crust, and a fairly complex hop bouquet—earth, pine, some pithy citrus towards the finish, and lesser notes of resin and florals. Cascade is at the core with Simcoe for sprucing up and Warrior and Summit for the bittering backbone, which is considerable at 70 IBUs. The 6.2% ABV has an unexpectedly prominent role, too: nearly hot near the midpalate and simmering up at the roof of the mouth with the elevated carbonation. The body is nearly full (scraping against 6 Plato), but light toast and alcohol crackle keep it relatively agile. Indeed, eventually it develops an almost metallic sharpness that cleaves through the body to reveal the caustic essence of Summit and Warrior, all without leaving throat-scraping residues in the aftertaste. Surprisingly little of the yeast comes through, either, despite their conspicuous presence in the mix—perhaps just a bit of dustiness and hint of astringency.
Many strong IPAs these days tout their powerful bitterness but then partially obscure it with elevated ABVs, luscious hop cultivars, and sticky malt bodies. Not so Mutiny. Though neither as brash as its namesake nor mythical enough in stature to earn much respect from the most hop-thirsty buccaneers, Capital’s new flagship still sets an aggressive course that commands attention.
Served: 12 oz bottle