John C. Tull's picture

Heavy Lifting IPA

September, 2015
Judges Rating: 
86
Aroma: 
21 / 24
Appearance: 
4 / 6
Flavor: 
36 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

This beer features a slightly hazy, rich gold color. The head is a fine and persistent white lace. The hops and malt bring to mind an English IPA; the subtle hops are slightly woody and herbal, and the malt is delicately sweet and not at all caramel-like. Unlike the aroma, the hops really jump out in the flavor -- they are big and herbal, even minty. This hop expression is a hybrid of new (huge hop flavor) and not new (no definitive American hop character). The malt backbone is mildly sweet and holds up well to the hop flavor and bitterness once the palate adjusts. The fermentation is quite clean. The finish is dominated by the bitterness and earthiness of the hops. The hop bitterness lends some astringency, but the body is balanced with fairly strong carbonation that makes it neither creamy or dominated by a carbonic bite. The alcohol does not assert itself on the palate in any sense, but you can feel a touch of warmth in the finish. This is a pleasurable beer that brings a refreshing interpretation of a style that has a very crowded field. I would recommend this if you want an IPA that steps away from the general trend of citrus or dank hops combined with big caramel malt. This is neither of those, but certainly falls within the breadth of interpretation allowed for an American IPA and delivers a unique and pleasant IPA experience.

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