Thursday, August 7, 2014

Black Husky Sparkly Eyes Imperial IPA

It’s IPA day, friends. Here’s how to celebrate it in a big way. This is a monster of an IPA hailing from Wisconsin’s piney northwoods.

Sparkly Eyes is an Imperial IPA made by Black Husky Brewing of Pembine. It’s an über-small brewery run by husband and wife Tim and Toni Eichinger out of what is essentially a cabin. They produce about 250 barrels of beer annually with most of it pouring in Madison and Milwaukee. The Eichinger’s run the entire show themselves. They do everything from brewing, to bottling and labeling, to delivery. This is hand-made beer from start to finish. And luckily, we get some of it in Oshkosh.

Sparkly Eyes pours to a deep shade of bronze under a persistent cap of ivory foam. The beer is spiced with hand-picked spruce giving it a woodsy aroma that compliments its deep tones of sweet malt and piney hops. The flavor is intense. There’s a caramel-like richness to the malt that wraps around fat notes of spruce and citrus-rind. It comes together into something similar to candied fruits. It’s bitter and delicious. The beer is a mouthful, with a lavish texture that penetrates the palate and stays there. At just shy of 11%, it’s definitely a sipper. That works well. The beer continually exposes more flavors and complexity as you hang out with it.

The only place to get Black Husky Sparkly Eyes anywhere around here is in the packaged beer section of Gardina’s in Oshkosh where it’s being sold in 22oz. bombers for $11.99. If you go, stop at the bar in front and check out the Black Husky Sproose on draught. Sparkly Eyes is the “imperialized” version of Sproose and it’s interesting to see how the two compare.


  1. Replies
    1. This one is especially good. It set me off on an IPA kick.

  2. Sproose joose is awesome. how does this one compare; say you were buying a gift bottle to mule out to Portland in a few days time, this or joose? both? lol

    1. I’d grab them both. Sparkly is the bigger version of Sproose. Having them side by side is pretty interesting. I recall reading somewhere where Eichinger described it as the more obnoxious version of an already obnoxious beer. It’s a good sorta obnoxiousness, though.