Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Review: Not So NE IPA

The best laid plans of Mice and Men often go awry.  When I planned to make a NE IPA I used the techniques I had researched.  Flaked Oats.  High Chlorides.  A stone fruity yeast that tends to be a low floccer.  No fining agents.  Boat loads of hops in the whirlpool and fermenter.  The resulting beer came out nice and hazy, not milkshake thick, but opaque for sure... for a couple weeks.  Time, cold, and gravity worked to pull it clear enough to read through.  Luckily for me, it has made the beer taste much better.  While it was young and hazy it tasted phenolic, enough that I thought that my Brett strain might have taken up residence from the fermenter.  The tartness from the acid malt was also a little more present.  After clearing it has lost the phenolics and the tartness has backed down to a juiciness.

Appearance:  Pours a nearly bright orangish gold with a dense white head and streams of bubbles that continue to reload it.  Thick and sticky lace grips the glass with each sip.

Aroma:  A juicy bouquet of hops pop from the glass.  Grapefruit, orange juice, peach, guava, with pine and resin filling it out.  The hops are sweet, like a ripe orange.

Taste/Feel:  The hops follow in the flavor, yet lower than I would like.  Low to medium flavors of citrus, peach, and resin, finish in a resin laden medium high bitterness.  Sweet malts help with the juiciness as well as a lightly tart finish, like a grapefruit.  The body is creamy and smooth giving way to a light finish which is washed away by the carbonation and bitterness.

Overall:  Although it isn't a NE IPA, it isn't a West Coast either, but it is a damn tasty beer.  The hop aroma is big and inviting, but could use some extra oomph from a secondary dry hop (this one only got fermentation hopping).  It needs a little more bright, raw, nose in the bag, hoppiness.  The mid palate hoppiness needs some work as well to carry through between the nose and the finish.  Body and carbonation are spot on.  Acid malt is out of place.