Monday, January 16, 2012

Iowa Grown IPA

Judging from the description on the bottle, the grain wasn't really grown in Iowa, just the hops. Tasted while watching the Swedish version of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo. I traded Jean (one of the owners of both Madhouse and Jasper) at Madhouse Brewery's temporary Tasting room at Jasper's Winery for this with a couple of GRB beers.

Appearance: Served from the bomber. The pour induced a creamy off white, densely foamed head of maximal stature. A cloud of lacing lined the glass in an entire consistency where the head reached its peak. The color is a deep amber with a relatively good clarity, with a minute degree of hazy/color inhibition. Carbonation looks to be optimal.
Aroma: Earthy, but fresh. One can easily pick out the 2-row and biscuity based malt bill, followed by citrusy hop notes and sweet orangepeel. Deliciously fruity, while incorporating a tangy hop zest.
Taste: Immediately sweet. Some faint flavors of cane sugar, but equalized with a mild biscuit sweetness. More and more, as the palate adjusts the hops permeate through and tackle over all the taste buds. Orange citrus with apricots and fresh leafy hop flavors. All of this borders on a neutral bitterness, but still certainly maintaining a fruitful character. I definitely get the Cascade and Centennial hops (and what else is really grown in Iowa anyways?). As the beer gets warmer, I get a growing sensation of grapes on the palate, though not the vininess, more of the sweetness from again, the hops. Some residual grassiness at the finish and minimal, but still present in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Medium to lighter bodied and easy drinking. I find the carbonation to be absolutely perfect to draw out the bittering units, while not overpowering the tongue and making it bite. A dry resinous coat spreads over the palate but not to overwhelm the ever prominent malt bill. Some stickiness, but minimal.
Overall Impression: I find this to be a great basic American IPA. It stands tall and emits a fantastic hop nose and palate. I think this is definitely a bitter beer, but one that changes throughout the tasting session. To start, its quite neutral, but as the palate adjust, the beer warms, and the carbonation settles, it blossoms into a fruitfully hop dosed beer with endless complexity. One could easily perceive a grapefruit and orange juice character. Very drinkable and refreshing while still retaining its malt backbone. A sipper and a sitter.
Go Iowa.

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