David Sapsis's picture

Frontman IPA

October, 2016
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

The beer pours out a burnished bright amber, with brilliant clarity and a tall and thick cream colored head, obviously well-conditioned by a steady rise of fine gas bubbles. Foam stand proves outstanding and leaves a big lace on the glass. Aroma is bright and tart with orange and lime citrus with a backdrop of pineapple and white grape -- invitingly fruity and resinous above a modestly sweet but distinct toasty-caramel backdrop. Hop flavors dominate the front of the palate with assertive orange and pineapple again, but also some early peach. The middle brings a strong but balanced bitterness that last to the dry finish where a toasty malt character continues to dance with complex sweet-tart fruits.  The malt really shines as counterpoint -- an element often missed in the crazy expansion of a beer style that was close to obsolete a few decades ago. Finish is long and elegant but not cloying or minerally. Mouthfeel is medium-light as the beer has just enough malt and viscosity to stand up to the high carbonic and hop sharpness.  Overall, the beer is a real winner with its outstanding hop character front to back, and a malt structure of toasty light caramel that keep the hops in line.  While full-flavored, the beer doesn't come across as overly strong, which I take as a great asset in a modern IPA.