Monday, January 30, 2012

Hop Sutra Double IPA

Thanks to Scott of Peace Tree Brewing Company for giving me a bottle of this as well as Blonde Fatale while we were hanging out in the unfinished building of what's to become Back Pocket Brewing Co. We literally set up draw table and chairs upon a gravel floor while the brewers flooded in with samples of their products. We stayed for a couple hours conversing and drinking, and I'd have to say, I had a fantastic time!
Reviewed Sunday afternoon after getting back from Iowa city, and running.
9% ABV

Appearance: The pour is brilliant and clear, and within the glass it takes on a nice ambered hue. There isn't much of a head, except for a trace of foamy white bubbles. Carbonation is persistent as it frequently rises from the base of the glass. Lacing is wet
Aroma: Right at the pour I got an immediate scent of orange peel and citrus. Overall, rather fresh smelling, with subtle hints of pineapple. The malt bill is complex, primarily biscuit and caramel, but there permeates a rich scent estery byproducts of fermentation. Some notes of soapiness, in accompaniment with lemon and more citrus zest from the hops.
Taste: There is an interesting interaction between the malt sweetness and what comes of that. Caramel upfront, as well as a clean 2-row backbone. The midtaste (along with the introduction of the carbonation) begins to introduce a very apparent character of esters and other tropical-esk fruit flavors. The finish is overtly dry with a piney bite and approaching a soapy/grassy bitterness. The warmer the beer becomes, the more alcohol is exposed, leaving the finish overly bitter and dry. The fruitiness and pine complexities quickly fade into a near woody flavor with a very tannic finish. 
Mouthfeel: The body is heavy, and is encouraged by a carbonation that brushes the tongue with a very fine and mild textured carbonation, leaving a smooth soft feel on the tongue. The end is thinner, which is drawn from the initiation of the alcohol, but finishes very dry.
Overall Impression: The flavor from this beer is dominant in esters, and carries through until the drying pine resined snaps the palate and obliterates all other flavors. I'd presume this beer was fermented warmer than others, especially from the rich esters that blossom through the malt base. The last time I had "this" beer was back in 2010 at the MUGZ homebrew club Christmas Party. There, where I received a bottle to review from Justen Parris, back when I was hand writing each review. I found the beer to be a lot more earthy, and unfiltered/bottle-conditioned. I'd have to say, I liked that one better.

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