Posts Tagged ‘north east india pale ale’

Tasted: Baller IPA

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Baller IPA is the third attempt at northeast india pale ale (NEIPA). It is also my second NEIPA tasting in as many days: Used IPA.

This beer had more big additions of 2014 hops. This time a combination of Citra and Simcoe. I have heard over and over again that Citra makes a crappy beer taste good, therefore there should never be a bad beer that has used Citra hops.

This makes my third attempt at an NEIPA seemingly an easy home run. Let’s get to the review…

Look:Pale gold to straw in color. Not opaque but cloudy from the hops, darkening the beer. Half inch of pure white foam covers. Not much lacing or retention.

Aroma: Strong hop presence. Mango, pineapple and citrus are bullies. Touch of malt sweetness.

Taste: Bitterness is a little stiff for the style but quickly subdues on the second or third sip after the palate has been crushed. Tropical and citrus fruit abound. Malt backbone is minimal. More citra forward.

Body: Medium body. Medium carbonation. After the juiciness of the hops subsides, the beer is on the dry side.

Overall: Easily the best NEIPA to date. Needs more balance. Need to cut down on the carbonation for the next few attempts. Solid drinking beer with a huge hop flavor and aroma profile.

Definitely a beer to grow on and reassurance that I am heading in the right direction. Still, not a perfect beer due to my brew day issues with my mill, gravity and hop utilization. Another solid Citra beer. Enjoy!

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Local Take on the New Craze

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

So the big thing these days in beer seems to be the Northeast Style IPA. Make it so hoppy your head implodes, make it so hazy you couldn’t see through it with a klieg light, and make it so juicy you won’t have to eat citrus for a month. And the trend has hit Chicago area breweries since the summer. There are too many to name, and although I wish I could try all of them (and I have tried some), this entry will just focus on two I recently brought to a Thursday Night Beer Club.

hailstrom brewing nimbus

BEER ONE: NIMBUS by Hailstorm Brewing out of Tinley Park, canned 9/28/16.

Color was a very cloudy dirty straw/gold. It reminded me of a glass of dark orange juice. The smell was mildly hoppy with slight floral notes. Taste was a slight tang of mildly bitter hops with a slight citrusy backing. Feel was dry, not a big mouth filling beer.
Appearance 4.25
Smell 4
Taste 4.5
Feel 4.25
Overall 4.25
TOTAL 4.29

NOTE ONE: I had this again on tap last week at Sovereign in downtown Plainfield, and I wouldn’t change any of the above notes or ratings.
NOTE TWO: Hailstorm did three of these New England styles (last I checked). I don’t think I have had STRATUS, but I have had CUMULUS and I would highly recommend that one more than Nimbus.

Ram Restaurant and Brewery Juicy

BEER TWO: JUICY by Ram Restaurant and Brewery out of Schaumburg, bought on release date 10/1/16, so canned earlier that week.

It was a much lighter color but also cloudier than the Nimbus. I remember when I had this the first time-it was from a bottle shared with me, and my comment was that it might have been the coolest looking double IPA from the Midwest that I had ever seen (even over every Pipeworks “Fish Series” that I’ve tried). The thing that struck me the most about the appearance was how it had a mass of the smallest bubbles I think I had ever seen in a beer (the canned batch, this wasn’t as present). This had a very healthy thick lacing as well. As for smell and taste, this one has a much stronger hop presence than Nimbus, and the citrus (mostly lemon notes) comes through a lot more, with practically no bitterness. It’s also a thicker, heavier, and creamier beer, but also amazingly smooth. They ran through this quickly at the last release (like most of the special beers they do), so I imagine it’s only going to be just as hard if not harder to get the next time they brew it.

Appearance 5
Smell 4.5
Taste 4.5
Feel 4.75
Overall 4.75
TOTAL 4.61

NOTE: The above numbers were from the first time I had this from a bottle. However, most of the notes were from the recent tasting from can, and I would not change the rating at all. On tap, can, or bottle – TRY THIS BEER!!!

Tasted: Used IPA

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

used ipa

Used IPA was my initial attempt at an northeast india pale ale (NEIPA). Since brewing this beer, I have added two more NEIPA brew days to my repertoire: Smiles IPA and Baller IPA. Each iteration has been a better beer. This could be due to hops, malt and/or process, as I have changed them each time. I like variety.

When adding 14 ounces of hops to beer, especially Amarillo hops, I expect great things. The vast amount of Amarillo hops was driven by two things: needing to get rid of 2014 hops and Daisy Cutter.

Using up old hops is a no brainer. I don’t feel they lose much in terms of aroma and flavor, in spite of the alpha acid drop off. Keeping them in the freezer in vacuum sealed bags helps keep them fresh as possible.

Being inspired by Daisy Cutter has been on the short since 2009, the first time I tasted the beer. The floral power of Amarillo jumped out at me and ever since I have wanted to brew up a home brew worthy.

Look: Hazy but still able to see through the beer quite well. Pale gold to gold in color. Pure white, wispy looking foam covers. Great staying power. Sporadic lacing throughout.

Aroma: Strong lemon. One dimensional.

Taste: Lemon is strong again. Really the only characteristic that sticks out. Light, clean malt.

Drinkability: Dry finish. Light end of medium body, possibly bigger. Crisp. Low bitterness. Good balance.

Overall: There is nothing off on the base beer, just nothing exciting. The hops are subdued to the nth degree when they should be shining. Could this be a water issue? I know I have hard water. Nevertheless, I learned a bit on the NEIPA process and will revisit going forward.

It could be process. It could be the age of the hops. It could be the change in my palate and nose. No matter, I didn’t get the hop profile from this beer that I was attempting to achieve. After being let down with this beer, I tried the original Daisy Cutter. Not what I remembered. I will only use Amarillo in conjunction with other hops going froward. Enjoy!

Note: looking up Amarillo hops again, interestingly it seems that citrus is now described as the main aroma/flavor with most description not listing floral in the profile. Has the hop changed?

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