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.