Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review: Identity Crisis (Black IPA)

For 3 of my 4 Spring-time brewing seasons now, I have made a Black IPA  After last year's I had to do one again this year..  I like them low on roast and high on hops, especially with a big resin and pine component with lots of fruit layered in.  Chinook and Simcoe work great and a nice addition of Mosaic plays well in there too.  I have tossed Blisk into a 2L of my APA without any hop presence and it was great, so I thought it would work wonderful in this IPA and boy was I right.  Tropical, reisn, pine, and I believe it to be the touch of Maui Onion I am picking up as it warms.

Pours a beautiful dark brown/black with a huge, dense khaki head that stays forever, leaving thick lace rings all the way down the glass.  Super clear with dark ruby/brown highlights.

Massive blast of hops jump out of the glass, big citrus burst, grapefruit peel, followed by lychee fruit, pine needles, floral notes, resin, dank, peach, and blueberry.  So many layers, lots of fruits and wood.  Maui onion.

Hints of chocolate, followed by blueberry, pine, toasty malt, nutty yeast, grapefruit pith, tangerines, and mangoes.  There is a finishing note that is off, not bad or infected off, just off.  Kind of flabby finish, not crisp and clean.  A little sweaty.  Bitterness in the finish that I would like to see more of, not as strong as I'd like which seems to be the difficulty I have with IPAs.

Medium/light body, medium carbonation, semi-dry finish, balanced bitterness (needs more).  Wondering if the flabby finish is a pH issue.

Huge hop explosion out of the glass, complex hop notes, lots of fruits, pine, resiny hops, touch of sweet onion.  Flavor and feel are great, only issues are the lower bitterness and flabby finish flavor.  Need to get that bitterness cranked up.  I have wondered for a few batches now whether I might need to adjust the pH down a couple nothces in the finish.  If I add a drop of Lactic acid to the glass the finish is less flabby, but still not as crisp.  Possibly needs even more sulfate and magnesium?

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