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Judge's Review: 87 Rating - Wooden Helix Triple IPA by Wild Leap Brew Co.

May, 2021
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
6 / 6
35 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Wooden Helix Triple IPA by Wild Leap Brew Co. was judged as BJCP category 33A , wood-aged beer.

The beer is served in a tall 12 oz. tapered glass after a full pour, and measured at 48oF. The beer casts a medium-light gold color, a deeply hazy clarity and exhibits good but not great foam stand of white, creamy texture. The foam laces well onto the glass after sampling. 

The nose is very fruity-juicy, with notes of orange and pineapple, with a nice angular bay/laurel woodiness above a lingering rich malty sweet-cream and alcoholic backdrop. The nose is super juicy, but not strikingly fresh, possibly owing to a combination of age and the modest but fully apparent oak note.

The flavor starts with a big, rich and lush bready/honey blast that offers mid-palate flavors of orange, pineapple, slightly un-ripe peach and even a little kiwi-acid notes, but only a very reserved bitterness. The late palate offers up a long, honey-sweet and fruity backbone with a distinct woody-drying character with hints of bay and eucalyptus and an obvious ethanol heat. That character lingers and provides counterpoint to the lush alcohol and sweetness in the finish via some astringency. The body is medium-full, owing to low carbonation, residual sugar and yeast in suspension, with the astringency again offering some balance.

Overall, the beer is a good triple IPA with nice, appropriately reserved, oaky character. It's fruity/juicy, creamy and has a well-executed oak element. My main issues concern the perceived low bitterness, low carbonation and hop character that, while nice, does not come off as super-fresh. These types of beers are so infused with, and redolent from, large late hop and dry hop additions, the very fresh beers tends to change and show low shelf stability. I bet this beer when a bit fresher is dynamite, and would score better on my card.