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Josh Weikert's picture

Segal Ranch Session

December, 2015
Judges Rating: 
20 / 24
6 / 6
35 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
14 / 20

Session IPAs are a curious (and, some would say, difficult) balance of aggressive hopping and lighter malts/lower ABVs, and they can come across, to some, as overly bitter hop water. This beer doesn't go that far, but there's certainly an argument to be made that it doesn't offer much beyond a naked hop character that lacks sufficient malt contrast.

The beer pours gold and clear with a foamy white head. The initial aromas are of grapefruit and citrus, with no real malt presence, and there's not much development as it warms and opens up. The aroma is also surprisingly restrained: you have to hunt for the hop aroma, which is surprising in a beer with nothing much to get in the way of it!

It's pretty rare for me to note "high bittering" as an initial flavor, but that's the dominant flavor here. Everything else – even the hop flavor, strangely – is decidedly secondary to that. In terms of malt flavor, there's a hint of graininess, and a medium-low level of fleshy citrus, but that's about it. The finish is dry and a little austere, with slight astringency that is helped along by the relatively high level of carbonation.

The bottom line? This is a fairly one-note and nondescript Session IPA that definitely features the bittering elements of hop character over its flavors or aromas. This wasn't an unpleasant beer to drink, but I doubt I'd ever go back for a second – and that's not good news for any session beer.