IPA #2 from the Trade: Zythos, Nelson, Galaxy IPA 7.5%
I believe this is the same beer as the last IPA I had of his, but without the Simcoe in the DH- 7.5% ABV on the label.
Appearance: Same reddish amber as the one with Simcoe. Nice Khaki head that falls to lace pretty quickly, and decent clarity for the dark color.
Smell: It’s funny… this one smells more like Simcoe to me right now than I remember the one that actually HAD Simcoe in it…. Orange, citrus candy, and some mango with a peppery bite and a tiny hint of pine. Again, like the other with the bing cherry overtones—maybe it’s a trick of the brain because of the color? The malt seems less apparent in this one, which doesn’t really make any sense (because they were the same beer) and goes to show how situational tasting impressions are. This one also has that same lovely aromatic biscuit and toast pushing through the hops pretty strongly.
Taste: Still very toasty in the malt department… not very caramely but still sweet and rich. The malt easily stands up to the super bitter hop resins. The hops come through as soapy-bitter with a killer sticky bite and an awesome candy type fruit punch impression… but with hints of darker tones coming through in the background as funky grapes and passionfruit. The bouquet integrates so nicely with the malt that this is pretty crazy drinkable.
Mouthfeel: Overwhelmingly bitter, with nice carbonation (lower than the last bottle?) and tons of hop oils in the finish. Not boozy, not sticky, but still warm and full.
Overall: I think I like this one better than the one with Simcoe. It seems more “intact” and has an easier to explore depth to the hoppyness. [SIDENOTE: I find that I prefer hoppy beers that focus on a main characteristic as the prominent impression and then layer other complimentary flavors on it to round it out. I think beers with TOO much complexity get to be hard to pick anything out of and make for a generally muddling impression. I kinda’ liken it to finger-painting: it looks pretty neat until you et too crazy. Start with yellow and red and get neat orange patterns, but then add just a few more colors and it all turns brown… The hop combo in this beer does a nice job of pushing the envelope without going overboard] All and all a pretty awesome beer. Again, maltier and a bit high on the IBUs for the finishing gravity than I would go with the style, but well put together.
Oh, one last thing: Ward reckons that the fining he used in the IPAs stripped some of the hop flavor out, and I think he may be right. It is quite potent still, but not the monster that was the Black Ale or the Imperial Red Rye.