Now here's an interesting collaboration beer between New Belgium and Elysian: a pink peppercorn IPA. And why not? At this point, pretty much every spice out there has been added to beer, so might as well throw some pink peppercorns into the mix.
The Trip XII is a bit odd, then, but also a bit good. Hell, I'd say it's excellent.
It pours vivid amber with a frothy white head lacing the glass. Give it a sniff, and a combination of pepper and malts are prevalent, flanked by subdued hints of hops. Some might say this is kind of atypical of an IPA, and they might be correct. The Trip XII has more twists than an episode of Castle, however, so don't let the nose fool you entirely.
Don't get me wrong, flavor wise this isn't your typical IPA either. The pepper and malts carry over to the front of your mouth, giving the initial impression of something dry and spicy. It is as you swallow you'll find the hops, and there are more of them than you'd expect. A floral taste tickles the back of the throat, and as the pepper subsides, the hops linger. In that sense, the hops are there, they're just hiding until they come jumping out, screaming "surprise!" into your face.
So the Trip XII is an IPA at heart, but it hides it well. I personally like it. The flavor is powerful, yet well-balanced, and at 7.5% ABV you probably don't want to knock down a few bombers of it. Grab a bottle, though, and you will enjoy sipping it.