Joseph Formanek's picture

Sweet Child of Vine

July, 2016
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
35 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

A rich, sweet, caramel malt nose shares the aroma with a complex blend of earthy, citrusy and piney hop characteristics. There is also some light fruity esters evident. The beer is a light copper with great clarity and a solid, rocky, off-white head of small, white bubbles that leaves lacing on the sides of the glass throughout the drink. A very attractive beer.

The flavor mirrors the aroma quite well. A piney and earthy hop flavor is slightly stronger than the quite evident sweet caramel malt base of this brew with moderately low carbonation. Hop bitterness seems to be medium and appropriate for the style, but strangely it becomes rather assertive and somewhat harsh in the finish. A light fruitiness comes through in the middle and finish, as does a touch of alcohol warming and saltiness. There is a sweetness from the malt and the fermentation that also becomes stronger in the finish, competing with the high hop bitterness in a rather combative way.

Overall, this brew demonstrates a solid flavor complexity from both the malt and hop side of things, and is a solid example of an American IPA with tradtional English IPA elements.