First Tasting: American IPA (Beer #34)

February 27, 2012 by Jack

I brewed batch #34 – American IPA – about three and a half weeks ago. I kegged it and added dry hops Friday before last. 1/2 ounce each of Simcoe and Amarillo. Whole leaf. I put them in a muslin bag with some stainless steel screws and fastened the sack to the underside of the keg lid using a worm clamp. Tonight I removed the dry hops. A couple of days ago I took these tasting notes:

Appearance
Golden honey to light amber color. Slightly hazy. Big fluffy bright white head with good retention.

Aroma
Tropical fruit (pineapple, mango) layered with orange, grapefruit, and a slight piney resin. Some grassiness. Soft biscuity malt. No diacetyl. The hop aroma is strong, but not quite as in-your-face as I was hoping.

Flavor
Citrusey grapefruit hop flavor. Firmly bitter. Rather grassy with a slight soapiness, likely coming from the whole-leaf dry hops. Light toast / biscuit malt flavor.

Mouthfeel
Medium-light body that is bolstered by the moderate carbonation, which lends a creaminess. Very slight warmth on the finish. No astringency.

Overall Impression
A straightforward, bitter, fragrant American IPA. Not very complex, not a lot of depth of flavor. However, the few flavors are well balanced to create a pleasant beer. The grassy soapiness is distracting, but it’s not overwhelming. The dry-hops are still in the keg, so I hope these flavors might drop out after I remove the hop sack.

I removed the dry hops tonight and I will take more tasting notes in one week. I also have to bottle up several of my beers for the TRASH competition that is approaching quickly…

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