Sal Mortillaro II's picture

471 Small Batch IPA

October, 2016
Judges Rating: 
85
Aroma: 
20 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
35 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

This Bourbon Barrel Aged IPA pours a deep gold color with creamy white head, which persists and has clear clarity. An aroma of fresh, un-charred oak barrel consisting of nutty and vanilla lactones is most prominent on the nose. No detectable liquor quality is discernible. There is a high ethyl alcohol character that is noticeable. There is a moderate-low general malt presence but no discernible hop aroma. The flavor consists of a moderate-high malt sweetness of a general malt flavor character. However, a high ethyl alcohol note downplays the perceived malt intensity to moderate-low. Hop bitterness is moderate but no hop flavor is discernible. There is no fermentation character noticeable. There is a low whiskey character note to the beer but is relatively “clean” compared to other barrel aged beers. The ethyl alcohol provides a spiciness that grounds the beer and prevents from cloying. The balance of this beer leans towards the malt and the alcohol. After the swallow, and exhaling through the nose with a closed mouth, the strength and high ABV of this beer becomes very apparent. The mouth feel is of full body with ample carbonation. This beer is very warm in the mouth and suggests an ABV of approximately 10%. The malt character cut by the high ABV makes for a creamy mouth feel. There is no astringency detectable in the beer. Overall, the high ABV of this beer seemed to interfere with the complexities of the malt bill and hop additions of the recipe. A greater hop character and complexity would benefit this double IPA significantly as well as a stronger barrel character.

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