Beer Review 0560: Omnipollo Fatamorgana Imperial IPA

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While I certainly don’t recommend you do this, sometimes a bottle is worth purchasing just because you like the looks of it. Every now and then, you should definitely treat yourself, even if you don’t know what you’ll get when you open said bottle.

Not much information is known about Omnipollo, other than they are an award winning brewery founded in 2010 by Henok Fentie and Karl Grandin. They’re gypsy brewers from Sweden, and they travel the world brewing their beers at various breweries. When we say award winning, they’re the 2013 Best Brewer in Sweden, as per the website RateBeer.

Describing the bottle which contains Fatamorgana, an Imperial IPA, Mr. Fentie says, “My parents came from Ethiopia to Sweden in the ’70’s and got two kids. Me and my brother. Over the years I have gone down to Ethiopia many times, partly to seek my roots but also to experience the wild nature that this incredible country has to offer. A memory that is particularly vivid to me was a time when I – in the middle of the dry savannah landscape – suddenly stumble into a patch of palm tree jungle within which an oasis was hidden. This is the place where the work with Omnipollo Fatamorgana takes off.”

Drawing inspiration from a Saison, Fatamorgana is brewed using oats and wheat; it is also dry-hopped twice with Columbus, Centennial, and Citra. The beer comes in at 8% ABV (alcohol by volume), and it was brewed at DOG Brewing Co., which is located in Westminster, Maryland. DOG Brewing creates beers for restaurants and select stores around the state of Maryland.

Here’s to a shot in the dark…

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This one pours out what would typically be considered a strange looking brew, for certain. The head is average in size, super foamy and fizzy, and it dissipates quickly. The beer itself looks a lot like orange juice, extremely hazy and murky in body, and colored yellow golden, two or three shades lighter than actual OJ. Despite its lighter color, Fatamorgana is opaque, as you can’t see through all of the haze. Lacing is very sparse and almost non-existent, only leaving a speck or two of foam here and there on the glass.

Talk about hops…the nose is a brisk punch of all things hoppy, with big notes of tropical fruits and grapefruit. It’s like Hawaiian Punch, fleshy with loads of papaya and mango, and we’ve got some oranges thrown in there, too. There’s a significant grassy kick as well, along with a light musty funk that lends credence to the Saison inspiration. There’s very little malt here, maybe a little grain or bread, but if you like citrus/tropical hops, this is for you. It’s delightful.

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On the palate, there’s a large push of grapefruit with a tropical backing up front. Grapefruit rind and the fruit itself are represented, with mangoes and papaya in tow. Juicy oranges transition the middle of the taste into more of a dry grassiness, and there’s a brisk Saison crispness/bitterness that opens the finish, which lingers with dry grapefruit, pine, and subtle mango. The beer is medium-bodied, with a thin, foamy mouthfeel and heavily bitter finish.

Final verdict — an extremely interesting beer, you’ll be shocked at the hop content this contains. No way would I have ever thought two Swedish brewers would make a beer like this. And like the description says, it is indeed like an oasis. Unfortunately, I think the beer somewhat falls apart when it tries to tap into the Saison inspiration. But this bottle is worth it for the hop profile alone, and this is a good one-time splurge. I would love to get my hands on more of Omnipollo’s brews, consider my interest piqued…

Omnipollo Fatamorgana Imperial IPA, 87 points. Price: $13.99 US for one 22 oz. bomber size bottle.

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