Curiosity Twenty Nine (Tree House Brewing Company)

Style: American Double IPA

7.9% ABV

From: Monson, MA

Brewery Note: “Our curiosity continues with an intensely kettle and dry hopped Double IPA featuring a combination of Simcoe & Amarillo! The base of Twenty Nine is straightforward to allow the unique and intriguing characteristics of our house yeast to play with a big punch of Simcoe & Amarillo. We experience flavors and aromas of apricot, peach, grapefruit, and a very distinctive note of juicy tangerine. This beer is a beautiful example that given a similar set of ingredients, process and yeast vastly influence the character and presentation of a finished beer. Despite its focused and intense flavors, this Curiosity is supremely pillowy. A delectable treat, indeed.”

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The beer pours like white grapefruit juice: Hazy, pulpy, turbid, and a pale yellow. Yet it sits in the glass a little oranger. It’s a New England IPA in full opacity, but I don’t directly see any big floaties dancing around. Instead, it has a lot of murky particulate, like OJ from concentrate that’s still slightly de-thawing. The beer pours with a pretty, slightly-off-white head of creamy bubbles which wither to a thin chapeaux but leave a lovely spatterwork of dotted lacing on the glass. It looks like a hazy, dazy new age IPA, but it doesn’t have the ugly chunk of some.

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On the nose, the beer is bright citrus fruit layered with tropical offerings. Think grapefruit, tangelo, and boozy OJ, with a little bit of stone fruit (under-ripe nectarine), and just the faintest tingle of chives to add a little gritty grass to the nose. Faint cereal bread wafts into the nostrils on the edges. The cans at a week old (refrigerated the whole time), and I’ve been sipping others throughout the week. As is often the case with hop bombs of this caliber, I do think the tropical juiciness has stepped off a touch, but it’s by no means lesser. The slight mango and apricot notes have simply molded into other fruit. It’s a big juicy hop-bomb, but with a more citrus/booze/ice tilt, and a little less thickness to the scent. On the tongue, the beer tastes softly bitter, with a bitter grass closer and mild sweetness between juicy fruit, citrus, and mango. Acidity is middling, gently lapping at citric and piney bite, and melding with the bitters while alcohol does squirm and softly burn in the mid-sip. It’s an Orange Julius smoothie with a slight ice burn, and a lot of grass added to balance out the sweetness. It’s citrus heavy orange juice with a little booze burn and a bitter, grassy underlining that balances the whole sip out. In the mouth, the beer is soft and pillowy, yet with a citric bitter bite on the back that snaps across the palate and leaves a river of saliva. This saliva dries and sticks to the sides of the tongue, even as more saliva pours out. The mouth is left hop-sticky, dryish, and happy. The beer is crisp yet pillowy, with a mild carb that really just keeps it light and gets out of the way. The one nick I have against the mouthfeel comes from the booze that slowly turns to bite on the close of the sip, and throws off the lovely pillow-with-bitters feel that the beer provides. Overall, this is lovely hop-juice that is but a blip in great Hop River of Tree House. It has some lovely elements, but they’ve done better. Still, it’s good shit. If you have some, enjoy it, if you don’t, check your local market and there should be something close. Hoppy beer is ethereal. It’s there and gone. Enjoy the stuff you can get the freshest.

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