Brad Darnell's picture

Judge's Review: 90 Rating - Starburst IPA by Ecliptic Brewing

February, 2018
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Starburst IPA by Ecliptic Brewing is an IPA and is being evaluated as an American IPA (2015 BJCP Category 21A), according to BJCP guidelines. For this style, expect a hoppy and bitter beer with balanced malt character. These are bolder than American Pale Ales and present a hop-forward balance, a clean fermentation profile and a dry finish. The malt, while present and balancing, allows the myriad hop varieties and their diverse character to shine through.

Pours a hazy dirty light copper with a huge, 4” tall rocky, foamy and frothy off-white head. Long head retention slowly recedes leaving excellent lacing as I watch this beer for a minute or two after its serving. Initial fragrant aromas reveal moderate nearly overripe orange and tangerine hops with light onion and garlic hop notes and green papaya. Cracker and light toast malt emerge but reveal no fruity esters. The flavor provides the same hop character as the aroma with a spicy, medium-high hop bitterness. A dry cracker and toast malt support the hops. Mostly balanced but the hops are at the center. Medium-full body, moderate carbonation and faint alcohol warmth.

Continuing on with this beverage I notice a slight pithy citrus character lingering in the aftertaste, though nothing producing astringency. Perfumy alcohol becomes more apparent the longer it sits and a floral character emerges. Light apple and pear esters finally emerge with my mid-glass swirl.

I find this American IPA fairly evenly balanced though hops are the primary characteristic. There is enough malt to hold up the chosen hops while not allowing them to be one-dimensional. Enjoy this alongside a gooey cheeseburger with chili cheese fries or simply by itself.