Style: American Session IPA
Malt: Fawcett, Golden Promise, Caramalt, Oat
Hops: Citra, Galaxy, Simcoe, Centennial
Brewer’s Note: “But I am not naming it a Session IPA. It’s simply an IPA, because when I formulated the recipe, I wasn’t thinking of how I could dumb down a 6 – 7% ABV IPA. I thought about what I want in an IPA in the first place, and built it ground up. My ideal IPA has hop flavor that does not overwhelm the malt and has a drying bitterness in the finish that leaves you wanting more. And with a moderate ABV, you can have more. And for those looking for a low gravity IPA that mimics a 7% IPA, you will be disappointed. It’s not the point, just as a Helles is not trying to be a Bock… This is session beer [though], even if we are not calling it that. There is more detail to this beer, but you’ll draw conclusions if I tell you more. For example, IBUs (International Bittering Units), one of the most useless pieces of information a brewer could give their consumer! Sorry, been wanting to say that for a long, long time.”
Apologies to Notch for calling this a session IPA, but I do think it’s an up and coming style, and though the name is stupid and odd (read Notch’s whole commentary on IPA’s and this beer here) it is something different than a traditional IPA, especially because you can knock back quite a few of them.
The beer’s label is the first non-traditional label that Notch has done, and you know what, I’m okay with that. The label holds on to Notch’s excellent text-based art layout, and their “newspaper” feel, while adding in a clever name and graphic. I love the color scheme, as it has me thinking of funky summers and ‘90’s radio hits for some reason. This label is another work of art and is worthy of the shelf or a scrapbook, or wherever you’d like to put it.
The beer pours a pale orange color with golden accents. A nice, half finger’s width head of medium sized, pebble-like bubbles forms as a head and lasts for some time. The beer is clean in body, but features a heavier chill haze than other beers in the style. Bubbles can be seen racing up to the top of the beer in a nice steady torrent. On the nose, the beer smells of big pine and tropical fruits with a shivering backbone of light biscuit malts and slight grapefruit citrus. Pineapple and mango play from the Galaxy and Citra hops while the Simcoe and Centennial hops add nice dank and resinous pine notes to the nose. There is even a very faint whiff of spice and apple skins in the nose. On the tongue, the beer tastes dry and bitter with just a touch of sweetness and salt and some lingering acid from the hops. In flavor, the beer begins bitter grows nicely, incorporating in light spicy biscuit notes with hints of mango juice and a big splash of pine and a touch of medicinal bitters which lasts into the aftertaste. The finish is of almost sweet bready biscuit with pine and a touch of rosemary. The aftertaste is mostly medicinal and piney bitters, but it also has faint traces of the “rosemary” flavor, with a nice, light saltiness that is really pleasant beside the bitters. In the mouth, the beer is superbly light and quaffable, sitting below medium in body. The beer displays a little bit of a fierce carbonation, but this just helps to keep the beer dry and drinkable on the palate, which is lovely. The mouth is left wet on the tongue and dry on the roof of the mouth. Overall, this is a superb session IPA that is honestly comparable to many ‘normal’ IPA’s. Great bitter flavors that are balanced by a light malt. This beer is superbly dry, and just asks for more sipping. In many ways, it reminds me of Founder’s All Day IPA, only this beer is by far superior to it. Notch has done it yet again. A superb IPA.