Richard Wong's picture

471 IPA Barrel Series Simcoe

March, 2016
Judges Rating: 
74
Aroma: 
23 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
26 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
10 / 20

Aromas of toffee, caramel, vanilla and a slight hint of oak come through upon first whiff with no discernible hop character. The beer featured a nice, light brown color with slight chill haze that had very nice carbonation. Small tiny bubbles made it look creamy and light. Sadly, the nice aroma and look of the beer was not matched by its flavor. Immediately, I get a blast of an off-flavor that took me awhile to figure out. At first taste, I thought it was toffee or caramel, but then I realized that butterscotch was the culprit. The butterscotch was not subtle, and it hits you immediately after the first sip. This beer had extreme diacetyl problems that made it problematic. Because the butterscotch flavor was so strong, I really couldn’t get a profile of the beer (the malt and hops) or at least only very little of it. From what I could taste, the hop bitterness was low, but still (barely) met the threshold for a Double IPA. The malt was there too, I can tell you, because it was sweet. Too sweet, in fact. One of the problems for this beer was that it was underpitched with yeast and/or a stuck fermentation. It doesn’t seem like this beer fermented out completely, hence the overall sweetness? With this extremely high residual sweetness, I also could detect the alcohol in this beer, which was featured via a nice, slight burn in the palate. Even with its alcohol strength (10.5%), this beer didn’t fully ferment.

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