This was quite a hit at the Wedding Shower. I’d say it hit pretty dern close to what I wasaiming for, with the exception on it being an absolute grapefruit BOMB when it was green. After just a few extra weeks in the bottle thought the cascades have integrated and it is drinking right along the lines of the spicy, woody, citrusy IPA I was going for.
Appearance: Hazy golden yellow with a thick sudsy head that stands tall for most of the session. Think thunder bumpers. Apparently vigorous carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass in steady streams.
Smell: About all you can hope for from a “west coast” IPA- Big juicy grapefruit and musky wood with pepper and pine spicing-up the backdrop. It really smells like Twain Harte in the summer to me… like sap and mtn misery. Again, quite spicy with some generic English esters coming through on the faintly crackery malt.
Taste: As expected after smelling it the first impression is all grapefruit. The Citra actually shows much more in the taste than in the nose with it’s awesome sticky passion fruit and more grapefruit pith. The spices from the hops all combine with the bit of fermentation handled by the French Saison yeast to put out quite a “woody” flavor. I’m definitely getting some of the rye “rawness” along with the otherwise neutral, slightly crackery, barely sweet malt base. I really like the way the spicyness seems to exist equally between the rye malt, Chinook hops, and yeast notes.
Mouthfeel: Full and thick without any sticky. Mostly the earthy spice of the rye, but there is also a nice numbing mint hint from the hop oils.
Overall: Yup, pretty great. Like I said, it was a bit citric and one dimensional at first, but at this point the bouquet has really opened up and made room for several other layers. This wouldn’t be a beer I was stark raving mad about buying if it were a commercial offering (Hella! on the other hand, I’d stock weekly!) but I’d say it can easily hang with some of the greats. Next time I’d say a tad more Citra will be in order to really dial this one in.