Joseph Formanek's picture

Vital IPA

August, 2016

Vital IPA

Judges Rating: 
89
Aroma: 
21 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
35 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

The first impression that arrives in the aroma is that of a somewhat sweet, lightly caramelized pilsner malt backed by light piney and citrus hop notes. In a way, the aroma is similar to the few domestically produced IPAs that were available in the 1970s before the Craft Beer Revolution. Very few esters or off characters are evident. Visually, this moderately carbonated, light golden-colored brew is quite clear and bears a luscious, creamy white head that is incredibly persistent -- an extremely attractive brew!

The characters seen in the aroma play through in the flavor as well. The lightly toasted pilsner malt flavor is quite evident and augmented by a light-to-moderate level of hop bitterness and light citrus hop flavors. The fermentation is quite clean with few esters or off flavors noted. The impression is more of an American hopped pilsner than an IPA. In addition, there’s a slickness to the mouthfeel that is quite luxurious, leaving a quite rich impression even though the body of the beer is on the lighter side. The hop character (flavor and bitterness) fades in the middle and finish, allowing the lovely base malt character and the slick mouthfeel to shine through into the aftertaste. There is absolutely no harshness in this brew.

This is a very interesting and extremely unconventional take on the current understanding of the IPA style. Don’t expect a hop bomb here; this IPA is very approachable and sessionable.

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