It’s a Monday night, and during my son’s soccer practice, I decided to go across the street and get some pumpkin beer for the season. When I got home, I realized I missed my homebrew club meeting, so I decided to go ahead and crack open a beer. I’m trying to make my way through some of the beers my friend Joe brought me in June when we did the Bourbon Trail. He lives in Atlanta, and brought me a bunch of beers from the south that I can’t get here in Illinois. I thought I’d start with the IPAs first before the hops fade too much. This beer says it was bottled in February of this year.
Location: Poured into a pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 8.2% ABV, 77 IBUs, 16.9°P OG, ~250 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It has a pale copper color to it, and it’s fairly clear. It had a big, off-white, pillowy-creamy head on it that fell after a few minutes to a thin layer covering the top. It has a floral-grassy hop aroma with some citrusy notes.
Taste & Feel: The body is medium-full and the mouthfeel is lightly creamy with some oiliness from the hops. The flavor up front is grassy hoppy with a little bit of bitterness. There’s a good dose of bitterness in the middle with mostly grassy and piney flavors. The grassy-piney bitterness continues onto the finish, with some citrusy and floral notes in the background. The grassy-piney bitterness is what sticks around in the aftertaste though.
Food Pairing: As expected, this is a fairly bitter beer, so I’d pair it with something solid like a burger. I had it with a pot roast and gravy and it went well together, however, I think it might contrast better with something a bit spicy, like hot wings.
Overall Impression: I enjoyed the creamy-oily mouthfeel, as well as the solid body. It had an interesting and complex mix of hop flavors, although the bitterness took over instead of letting the hop flavors shine through. Since it is an IPA, I was expecting the bitterness, but with the mix of hops, balancing the additions until later in the boil probably would have made it even better. Overall, it was a good beer, and I appreciate Joe sharing it.