Michael McGuire's picture

Inshore Slam IPA

February, 2017
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
5 / 6
34 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Inshore Slam IPA by Coastal Empire Beer Co. is an IPA and was judged as an American IPA (BJCP sub-style 21A). It poured dark gold into the glass where it set up mostly clear with only a slight (chill?) haze and a modest short-lived white head. The aroma featured some caramel malt notes and hops of an indistinct variety, which departed somewhat from the usual intensely hoppy nose of an American IPA featuring citrusy or other distinctive aromas from hops grown in the Pacific northwest or other New World locales. The flavor profile initially mirrored the aroma – sweet maltiness balanced but not overwhelmed by bittering and flavor hops. Finally, this was followed by tropical fruity esters (e.g., mango) through to a finish of non-astringent hop flavor coating the palate. In this respect Inshore Slam diverged from the many aggressively-hopped IPA’s in the current craft beer market.

Overall, this American IPA exhibited the balance and restrained alcohol of an English IPA. As such it was more widely drinkable than a high-octane hop bomb. On the other hand, its lack of complexity in hop aroma and flavor causes it to fall short of true American IPA excellence.