Sharing my hard work in learning about, brewing and even drinking beer.

I am a beer nerd, homebrewer and hopefully future beer competion judge. I am working my way through sampling, learning about and hopefully brewing all eighty current BJCP beer styles. It's hard work, but somebody has to do it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

14B: American IPA

So all my friends ditched me on wing night (with friends like these...) so I jumped on the the chance to redirect my hard-earned money from the alehouse to the six-pack shop in order to begin my journey through the eighty beer styles. Tonight I'm going with three selections from the BJCP 'classic' examples for American IPA. I know what you're thinking, "Wow, American IPA, how exciting (not)." Well, all day I was craving a nice bitter IPA and I thought about going with English IPA's but they were all crazy expensive, and since I just spent $17 on two bottles of Saison last week, I thought I'd take it easy on the budget. In case you're good at math and noticed something missing, the other half of the six-pack was 2A: German Pilsner; more on that later.

The lucky contestants for this night's festivities were Bell's Two Hearted Ale, Avery IPA and Founder's Centennial IPA. Surprisingly the citrus-hop character in all three was quite mild. I don't know if my tastebuds were not quite warmed up, but I was grateful to not be assaulted with three grapefruit bombs. Also characteristic of all three was a nice malty sweetness in both the flavor and aroma, with the beers manifesting this in differing shades of caramel and toffee. All three had a nice smooth bitterness to them, as would be expected, with smooth being the key. No harshness to be found. All three of these beers were flavorful without being overwhelming. The mouthfeel for all of them was almost identical in a medium body with nice, almost creamy carbonation.

Of the three beers, Founder's Centennial IPA was my favorite, as the malt character stood out on its own and was wrapped very well in the hops and bitterness.

On another note, I really need to work on my sense memory as these beers were not at all subtle, but I couldn't pull the aromas and flavors out of my brain. I need one of those kits with all the possible aromas and flavors so that I can compare them.

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