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Rick Franckhauser's picture

Judge's Review: 94 Rating - Space Needle IPA by Pike Brewing Co.

November, 2019
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Space Needle IPA by Pike Brewing Co. was judged as BJCP Category 21A, American IPA.

Big fresh lemon and resin hop nose that is accompanied by moderate levels of woody hop. There is some underlying rich Munich malt character. No esters. Clean fermentation. Deep golden color with good clarity. Huge creamy light tan head leaving a nice Belgian lace and great retention. Lots of tiny bubbles cascading upward. Beautiful beer. The flavor follows the aroma with lots of lemony citrus and lower levels of pine resin and wood. There is some additional sweet orange citrus making its way in mid-palate. Firm rounded hop bitterness but very nicely offset by the rich malty backbone. Balanced toward the hops. In spite of the big citrus presence the beer is smooth and manages to finish quite dry. There is a lingering citrus presence but not harsh and joined by a slight toasty malt in the aftertaste. Medium-bodied with a moderate carbonation level. A slight hop and carbonation bite on the palate is soon coated by creaminess.

Really delicious beer. In spite of the huge hop levels, this beer is an easy drinker. The malt is rich and complementary without getting in the way of the hops. Very well done. I suppose some may want the malt to take a lesser role in an American IPA but I think you would lessen the drinkability. The malt presence really allows the hops to stand out without being harsh. Space Needle delivers the proper balance I want in an American IPA.