Jason Johnson's picture

Independence Pass Ale

March, 2017
Judges Rating: 
92
Aroma: 
23 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
37 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

If you are a craft beer lover in today’s market, you are very familiar with this style. We are going to evaluate this beer against category 21A, American IPA. If you are not familiar with this style, it should be a decidedly hoppy and bitter, moderately strong American Pale Ale. It should showcase the hops, have a clean fermentation, be a bit on the dry side, and have a solid supporting malt profile for the beer.

In the aroma, I get tropical fruit aroma from the hops, mostly papaya, but also some citrus-like notes as well. The hop aroma is quite pleasant. The malt profile is toasty and bready, and complements the hop profile nicely. Overall the aroma is clean and does present some light alcohol aroma.  

The color is a dark gold, with a with a light haze but is mostly clear. The haze is suggestive of dry hopping, which is OK for this style. The head is sticky and clings to the glass nicely, the color is off-white with very good retention.

In the flavor I get slightly sweet and toasty malt, some bready character as well. The hop flavor is medium-high and again hints at papaya and grapefruit. The bitterness is medium and not sharp or bracing, which I find pleasant. The balance is solidly leaning on the hops, but the malt does support the flavor profile well. The finish is semi-dry with just a hint of sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium-full and the beer is moderately carbonated. I didn’t detect any hop astringency. It does have a light creamy texture and low amount of alcohol warmth.

Overall this beer is a very good IPA, well worth drinking. It may benefit from a slight boost in bitterness, but I found the malt and hop profile pleasant overall and the beer was clean.

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