David Sapsis's picture

Coastbuster Imperial IPA

January, 2017
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Double IPA   BJCP #22A

The beer pours a crystal clear light amber color, with a nice full creamy cap of foam with good stand and lace.  Color indicates relatively little in the way of kilned/colored malts used -- possibly some Vienna/Munich  or very light crystal malt in low quantity.  The beer  shows full conditioning, evidenced by lively outgassing.   The aroma is rich with piney resin and a manifold blast of bright fruit notes: tangerine, peach, and apricot above a distinctly candy sweet backdrop.  While no ethanol is evident, the nose is big and lush with both malt and hop accents coming through in a pleasant marriage of  fruitiness.   The flavor starts bright  with distinct apricot and pine/fir notes, with the mid-palate bitterness nice but relatively restrained.   Middle flavors of hop notes  bring out a  slightly herbal component reminiscent of dried oregano.   Late palate is slightly sweet with a resurgence of ripe stone fruit (peaches and apricots) dancing with faint caramel in a long and slow finish.   Mouthfeel is medium, with some astringency due to what seems like a very high dosage of flavor hops. The beer is smooth and betrays its strength due to the  dry finish and well-composed  hop/malt balance.   Overall the beer comes off somewhat more like a regular IPA (possibly at the high end of the strength range) rather than a double. It also does not suffer the malady that many double IPA's are cursed with -- poor  attenuation and disjointed  bitterness/sweetness.   This beer falls short of being a full-on fruit bomb, but has very nice and approachable west-coast hop notes that are supported by a pleasant but somewhat subtle  malt/light caramel note that is short in the palate and lets the dry finish emphasize the piney/fruit flavors so prevalent in new American hop varieties.   The overall drinkability of the beer begs careful consideration beyond the first pint.  An enjoyable, and relatively restrained and well-crafted interpretation of a difficult style to pull off without being overbearing. 

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