David Sapsis's picture

Deftones Phantom Bride

November, 2017
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
5 / 6
37 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

This beer was judged as BJCP category 21.A (American IPA) and served at 45 degrees F.

The beer comes to me in a nonic imperial pint after a robust pour: the beer is medium gold in color (~5 SRM) with a distinct haze. The foam is a thick off-white of mixed bubbles exhibiting excellent stand. The abundant and persistent outgassing indicates the beer is well conditioned, while the very light color clearly indicates minimal use of kilned/caramel malts in the grist, which is common in many modern IPA interpretations, where brewers (and patrons) are looking for hop forward character without a lot to get in the way.

The aroma is classic west coast: pine, fresh citrus (lemon, orange, grapefruit) and a backdrop of cantaloupe sweetness, above a bready-cracker maltiness that is inviting and not overly acidic or angular. The dry-hop effect is obvious, and it appears the hops themselves were in good condition, making for a hop forward, but balanced nose, given the faint malt sweetness evident. I couldn't pick up any distinct ethanol, indicating its relatively modest strength.

The beer's front palate is bright with pine and citrus character and trails to an immediate shot of bitterness that while firm is countered by some nice cracker-malt character. The mid-palate has a surprisingly strong malt backbone of the same cracker-biscuit flavors carrying along the orange-piney-resin and melon notes along with some residual sweetness into the finish that is clean and off-dry, with some lingering mineral and bitter notes. Overall the beer's palate is fuller than many light-gold IPA's I believe owing to a relative low degree of apparent attenuation and a deft and conservative hand with the kettle hopping (the former discounted based on a measured final gravity of 2.6o Plato). The body is medium and the mouthfeel has a nice creamy texture despite the high level of carbonation, making it a bit of a paradox: light, snappy and refreshing in that it's not overbearing in its bitterness or hop flavors, while still well-balanced and appropriately hefty. All this produces a very drinkable IPA, with all the attendant features expected of west-coast interpretation that would work great to quench thirst on a hot summer afternoon, or provide liquid juxtaposition to a hearty and spicy meal: someone say green Thai curry? Well done, and should stand out even in a saturated market.