Nelson Crowle's picture

Apex

July, 2016

Apex

Judges Rating: 
95
Aroma: 
22 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
39 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

This beer pours a hazy deep gold with an orange tint and a big, mousse-like, ivory head of small bubbles. The head sticks around for a long time and leaves Belgian lace on the sides of the glass. There is a substantial grainy and bready malt backbone in the nose, but the star of the show is the hops. The hop aroma is resinous, spicy and grassy with hints of garlic. The first sip is bread crusts, grainy and some honey, with a bit of apricot, and a very complex hop footprint of black pepper, earthy, grassy, orange and tangerine notes -- all of which work together nicely. The overall balance leans towards the bitterness, but the fairly substantial malt bill balances it out nicely. The beer finishes crisp and fairly dry, with residual resiny and grassy notes. With only a medium body and pretty high carbonation, there's a slight, grainy astringency in the finish along with a moderately high --but pleasant -- alcohol burn, which is clean, aromatic, and lacking in fusel alcohol; this beer features a big hop aroma and flavor and just enough malt to balance the bittering. Overall, this is a very nicely balanced (but quite substantial) IPA that begs to be paired with a French dip with rare roast beef, sauteed onions and peppers.

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