Whether brewing torture-inspired imperial stouts or “cheat code” IPAs, self-described phantom brewery Nightmare Brewing Company makes quite the impression. From the palate-crushing volume of flavor to its grisly label designs, Nightmare is anything but subtle. And the brewery’s imperial IPA Exposure—named after freezing torture—delivers on Nightmare’s extreme ethos, maximizing hop flavor and aroma through the use of cryogenically frozen Citra and Mosaic hops.
NIghtmare’s take on the hazy juice bomb pours plenty turbid, but it is more murky than bright. The color fades with the curve of my standard pint glass with darker burnt orange at the top yielding to a much more pleasing sunset orange at the bottom. A half inch of white head caps off the beer for a stark contrast in color.
I could barely think about the appearance after the aroma was unleashed from the can. This is the type of beer that when someone cracks a can you look around to see if fruit is being cut up nearby. It’s a monsoon of wet, juicy pineapple, mango, and orange. Leaning in closer reveals an edge of resinous pine and a hint of the hefty ABV.
The gruesome art Nightmare uses with its beers portends a hammer of flavor to match, and Exposure delivers on that promise.”
Exposure drinks boozy and thick, like someone tossed a bunch of fruit and a pinecone in a blender then spiked it with liquor. The gruesome art Nightmare uses with its beers portends a hammer of flavor to match, and Exposure delivers on that promise. It’s ridiculously hopped with those Cryo Hops working double duty to provide massive tropical and citrus fruit flavor to go with a thump of herbal, piney bitterness. Despite the laughable 10.1% ABV, the hops somehow overshadow the booziness, and were it not for the thick mouthfeel you might even forget about it altogether—until you finish the can and try to maintain normal functions.
Offering this beer in a 16-ounce can is like serving whiskey by the 6-ounce wine pour—it may simply be too much of a good thing. But make no mistake, this is a very good thing. Whether it’s the distinct blend and amount of hopping or the use of those Cryo Hops, Nightmare’s Exposure brings a ton of juicy fruit and resinous pine flavor, making it decidedly better than death by freezing.