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Judge's Review: 96 Rating - Tunnel Vision DDH with Citra by Bearded Iris Brewing

April, 2018
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
39 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Tunnel Vision DDH w/Citra by Bearded Iris Brewing is being evaluated as an American IPA (Category 21A) from the 2015 BJCP guidelines. 

This beer pours a deep gold color with opaque clarity due to the use of dry hopping. A modest off-white head forms but dissipates fairly quickly. As the beer is imbibed, it leaves a lovely lacing on the glass. On the nose is a moderately high juicy mandarin orange profile with low notes of pineapple taking the forefront on this beer. A low level of malt sweetness helps support the hop aroma and makes the beer almost candy-like. Any esters  in the beer are lost behind the fairly intense hop character. Light wisps of alcohol are apparent as the beer warms and gives hints of a moderate, above 6% ABV, strength beer. On the sip, a moderately high hop flavor of mandarin orange, lemon, and pineapple noted in the aroma come through at the beginning, followed by a low-level malt sweetness. There is a subtle pine and grassy note in the flavor that is not picked up in the aroma. 

The sweetness of the beer is quickly balanced out by a moderate bitterness, spicy notes and very light mouth-drying character and typical flavor from the use of dry hopping, and light alcohol. A very pleasant bitterness lingers in the aftertaste along with the noted spice and ethyl alcohol character. This beer has a relatively thin body with prickling carbonation, which adds to the perceived body. Moderate alcohol warmth, though not hot, is perceived a little higher then actuality due to lightly spicy and drying note from use of the dry hopping; these things combined tend to tickle the back of the throat after the swallow.  After the swallow there is a touch of slickness on the tongue, not diacetyl-driven, but probably due to the hop usage in this beer. 

Overall, this is obviously a very fresh sample and at the peak of its prime; the spicy aspects in the flavor imparted by the dry-hopping technique should diminish a little over time and become more rounded as the beer matures. This beer reminds me of a bitter version of a New England IPA combining juicy hop flavor and aroma coupled with the firm bitterness of a West Coast IPA -- offering the best of both worlds to the true American IPA lovers.