Josh Weikert's picture

Untouchable

Judges Rating: 
87
Aroma: 
20 / 24
Appearance: 
5 / 6
Flavor: 
35 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Speakeasy's Untouchable IPA is a solid addition to a market that has every kind of IPA imaginable on offer. It makes good use of not-commonly-paired hops, and has a rich malt base upon which to play. If it has a major flaw, it might be that the malt is a little too prominent a part of the impression, which will leave some IPA fans wanting.

The beer pours a pretty jewel-toned amber with scant white head. There's an initial impression of mango, melon, and lemongrass, but they're fairly muted for the style. There's a broad malty background with toast and biscuit notes.

This is probably the first time I've ever written this, but the hop flavor is rich. Not overly hop-flavor-dominant, but it gives an impression of hop flavor that is almost tactile, the way a good Gruyere cheese has a lingering dry note. It's almost umami-like. Bitterness is medium-high, with balance from a toffee and nutty maltiness. The finish is semi-dry, with a lingering berry ester that plays nicely off of the toffee aftertaste.

This is a very good beer. It bridges a lot of styles, and it's almost unfair to compare it to most American IPAs. I'd call it more of a semi-Imperial English IPA with American and New Zealand hops and the ester profile of a German altbier. I happened to love it, and I think most will agree, so long as they go in with the right expectations.