Beer Review: Karbach Brewing Company Roshambo Belgian Style IPA

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Brewery: Karbach Brewing Company
Beer: Roshambo Belgian Style IPA
Style: Belgian IPA
ABV: 7.5%
Character: Mix of a true Belgian Ale with hop flavor and bitterness of an American IPA
Metal Connection: GWAR – The Morality Squad

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roshamboI have visited the brewery a couple of times, I have gone to tap takeovers here at local bars, and I have purchased and drank many of their bottles/cans at home. I am talking about Karbach Brewing Company. So far, these guys have not disappointed me with their beer. Everything has been solid. Shit, these guys gave me a reason to like Lagers (read my review on Sympathy for the Lager).

Here we have another fine offering from the fine folks over in Houston, TX. This is Roshambo, a Belgian-style India Pale Ale. Belgian IPA’s can sometimes be very strange. The characteristics of a good American IPA and those of a Belgian-styled Ale sometimes do not mix well. Karbach, on the other hand knocked a home run with Roshambo. Now, for those of you who do not know what the word “roshambo” means, let me give you a little lesson. The word is broken up into three small words when playing Rock-Paper-Scissors. It is said aloud to synchronize the players timing, as “Ro… Sham… Bo.” Another way the word is used is as a verb like in the sentence I’ll roshambo you for it. In other words, to play a game in order to decide a quick winner. My favorite use of the word, though, is the definition found on Urban Dictionary. A game; to kick each other in the balls over an object, last one standing wins. Of course, the amazing South Park uses this, as seen in this video below…

Let’s now move on to the beer. I used a Spiegelau brand glass, specifically designed for IPA’s for this drinking session. The beer poured a nice bright, slightly hazy amber color topped with a large 2 inch light tan bubbly head. The head fizzled down to a quarter of an inch crown, but not without leaving a very sticky web lacing on the top of the glass, and down the glass throughout this session. The haze did go away, leaving the bottom of this glass a beautiful crystal clear amber colored beer with apparent rising bubbles. Good looking beer!

The aroma was pleasant, hosting characters of both a Belgian-style Ale, and that of an American IPA. Hops were present in the nose, but not overwhelming. The hops provided a nice aroma of citrus, tropical fruit, even some pine, and earthy notes. There was a good amount of Belgian beer qualities, like a good presence of bread and banana. For me, the best way I can describe this beer is is to take the best aromas of a good Belgian Dubbel, and add a bouquet of citrus, piney, earthy hops, and that is what Roshambo is like in the nose.

The taste fallows the nose perfectly, again showcasing the best of both worlds here. The American IPA is shown in the bright, crisp citrus flavors that hit the palate first. The next group of flavors to hit the taste buds are that of the malts, with traces of sweet brown sugar, light caramel, followed by piney, earthy hops. The Belgian characters shine through on the end of the swill, leaving a long lasting taste of banana and biscuit, all while mixing well with the presence of the hops.

The body was a medium thickness, with a smooth, and silky mouthfeel throughout the swill, ending with a crisp, dry, bitter bite. There was a fair amount of bitterness, and definitely good carbonation.

Overall, I was very impressed by this beer. Karbach really nailed it in their own description of Roshambo by saying it a mix of a Belgian Ale and the assertive hop flavor and bitterness of an American IPA. In some cases with Belgian-Style IPA’s, it seems there is either too much IPA, or too much Belgian Ale. Karbach created a perfect blend of aromas and flavors here with Roashambo. gwar-America

Metal Connection: I know it has nothing to do with the meaning of the name Roshambo, but when i first saw this work, I immediately thought of the GWAR character, Granbo, just because of the similarities in spelling and pronunciation. Of course, the song which highlights the antics of one, Granbo is “The Morality Squad” from the famed 1992 album, America Must be Destroyed. In the song, Granbo is trying to put an end to GWAR with the help of The Morality Squad, which consists of her Grandson, Corporal Punishment, her Nephew, Tiny, and a few CIA trained special agents. Well they did not stop GWAR back then, and of course will not stop the awesomeness of Karbach’s Roshambo.

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