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Judge's Review: 92 Rating - Missing Pieces by Highland Brewing Co.

February, 2018
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Missing Pieces by Highland Brewing is a Double IPA and will be judged as such by BJCP 2015 Category 22A.

This beer pours a deep yellow color, approaching golden, with a lasting off-white head and some haze, though less than expected for a New England style IPA. Fortunately it hits the rest of the marks on the ‘style’, while still being true to the Double IPA style, albeit with a softer bitterness than called for.

The aroma is full of hops, mostly tropical fruit (mango, passion fruit) and citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit) with some dank/catty & floral elements behind it. The fruity character doesn’t end with the hops as the yeast also provides some stone fruit esters (peach, apricot). After all this, there is a light grainy, doughy bread-like malt and some faint alcohol as it warms. The flavor follows suit, but leans more towards citrus vs tropical this time, with lots of grapefruit & tangerine leading into mango & stone fruit.

The flavor is hop-forward, yet the bitterness is medium-low, which is low for the double IPA style yet high enough to still balance as the beer has a dry finish. The low bready malt is also simple enough that it doesn’t compete with the hops or add extra sweetness unlike many double IPAs, which helps the balancing act and negates the need for the high level bitterness. The dry finish and low malt also gives a medium-low body with a soft mouthfeel that makes it very easy to drink despite its higher ABV that is pretty well hidden. Being from New England, its great to see more and more regions adapting this new trend. They’re not all winners, but fortunately, this one definitely hits the mark and really nails the drinkability aspect. (Bonus points for the killer dinosaur can art.)