Tracy Hensley's picture

Duet

March, 2016

Duet

California
United States
Judges Rating: 
96
Aroma: 
24 / 24
Appearance: 
5 / 6
Flavor: 
38 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

In the nose, I'm hit with an intoxicating melange of clean, refreshing and lingering aromas of freshly cut pineapple, freshly-squeezed raspberry juice, musk, rose tonic (from Tours, France), candied orange and apricot syrup poured over brioche made with golden brown sugar, low English lavender soap, white tea leaves, shavings of coconut meat and light Oregon spearmint. A low, white, creamy head dissipates quickly above a slighty hazy, pale gold beer.

At first, the flavors are hop resin, pine needles and dried lemon zest. Over time, however, it becomes a balance of pine resin and lemon peel that continues into the aftertaste and lingers for over a minute, where moderate alcohol warmth begins to show as does warm brioche bread. The mouth is left clean and dry in the finish. During the second sip, pine needles are more prominent, with the moderate hop bitterness not overwhelming the clean finish. What really makes this beer shine is its structure. Medium-bodied, high carbonation, no hop astringency and a frothy creaminess that lightly and pleasantly coats the mouth with slight alcohol warmth contributes to a near-flawless West Coast IPA experience that's worth seeking out.

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