ElGaucho (2384) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - FEB 1, 2005
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Aroma is not very hoppy at all, which is odd for a West Coast IPA. Caramel malt notes, fresh and citrusy. Particalia pervades the amber body. Avg.-sized off white head that mostly diminishes. Beautiful lace. Flavor is considerably more hoppy that it smells. Bitter is probably a better word than hoppy. Well done and well balanced. Has a perfect level of sweetness; just enough to offset the dry bitterness. Pepper. I like this a lot. Gets better as it warms. Nummy! An exemplary IPA. I am not overly enamored with the label art. The fonts are too generic. Thanks Slikwily for sending this brew!
DarkElf (3050) - La Jolla, California, USA - FEB 1, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 2, 2005 (12 oz bottles: Obtained in trade with derekarent, thanks Derek!; Also purchased from Liquid Solutions in Tigard, OR) This is quite an unusual IPA. The nose is sweet and VERY fruity, peaches and oranges mostly, but oddly enough, thereís hardly any hops going on. The sweet fruitiness is also present in the flavor, but talk about a 180 on the hops. This isnít the in-your-face hops that blasts you right from the first sip, rather, this one builds to a crescendo after several sips, and then each sip results in a very bitter grapefruit rind finish. The flavor has nice complexity and while the beer seems fruity up front and bitter in the finish, you get a sense of solid balance on the whole. The palate is nice and round, and isnít very crisp because the sweetness is moderately strong and bitterness isnít felt in so much in the mouth as it is in the throat. The color is apricot, and itís quite cloudy with plentiful number of specks suspended in the beer. Fluffy, off-white head diminishes to a thin film, but remains bubbly around the edge of the glass and leaves plenty of dense lacing on the glass. Very solid IPA.<hr>And now for that second bottle. Iím not sure which bottle is which, but who cares. Theyíre both fresh. Maybe itís the beers Iím comparing the T.G. with in the two sessions, but after two outstanding, fruity, hoppy IPAs, Iím getting a fairly prominent maltiness out of the T.G. this time around, and even a hint of roastiness, but that fruit just isnít nearly as obvious in this session. And the hoppiness is more up front rather than sneaking up on you in the finish. So yes, itís malty and hoppy and bitter, and itís extremely well balanced too. That gentle roastiness is present in the nose as well, as are solid malt and hops aromas. The color is again apricot and cloudy, but there are NO particles suspended in the beer this time. Very odd. There is very little head on the pour, and barely a wisp of film topping the beer a few minutes later. And thereís not much lace either. In both sessions, Iíve liked the beer very much, but my observations have varied greatly. Since I doubt the beer is actually different, this goes to show you how much your ratings depend on the day, your mood, what beers youíre comparing it too, and many other factors. Thatís why Iím all for rating beers more than once. Iíll go ahead and keep the same ratings across the board, although the appearance score would drop to a 3 for this particular bottle.
SpringsLicker (3386) - Tennessee, USA - JAN 22, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 15, 2005 This comes to me from wohlfs!
This makes a beautiful, aromatic pour!
Huge, even, creamy off white head that fills the nose with not just aromatic hops, but some malt aroma too.
The flavor is every bit as good as the aroma. This starts just a bit dry followed by the bitterness, ending with a malty fullness with a long, smooth, dry finish.
Shag (2789) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - JAN 22, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This stuff rocks right here. A deep orange appearance with a fluffy head. A citrus fest of an aroma including some lime. Very well balanced with a good malt presence mixed in with mainly oranges in the flavor. A nice bitter bite. Hopheads NEED apply.
Slick (1969) - Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA - JAN 11, 2005
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Good amber/brown color,Strong hoppy aroma to the point of smelling like cat spray almost.Much better flavor then i was expecting.Nice mild malt side then the hops come in not nearly as heavy as i was expecting eather.There is that strange cat spray taste to go with the aroma but itís no biggie it seems to fit nicely.The garpefruit taste is nicely done with a not so over powering side and the hops donít exactly jump out at you but seem to make this a very nice easy drinking brew.maybe a little ageing would mellow off some of the aroma but over all itís a pretty good brew.
Pailhead (6358) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - JAN 3, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle: Aroma a nice balance of malt and sweet grapefruit. Pours a dark amber with a nice yellowish-white head with fair retention. Excellent lacing. Rather malty all the way thru with a nice hop addition in the finish. Very nice IPA but more hops is needed to balance the malt.
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - DEC 31, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Medium amber color. White head fades out rather quickly. Sweet hops pervade the aroma but do not overpower the malt notes completely. Very nice balance between malt and hop upon tasting. Pleasant long hop finish. Very well done.
Reid (2255) - Salem, Oregon, USA - DEC 29, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bought in a 12 oz stubby brown bottle..says "live beer" onlabel so I suppose this is unpasteurized.
Nice murky orange colour, typical PNW IPA, in appearance, small pure white head and some nice carbonation..good lacing.
Classic American IPA aromas, graprefruit, spiciness and a lick of malt.
Quite a nice tasting IPA, decidedly hoppy !, yet under it all there lies a strong base of good malts, semi dry finish and a long lingering pleasant bitter aftertaste.
Nice on the palate and remarkably smooth for and IPA.
Quite a nice nd drinkable IPA. Not one of the very best..but good none-the-less. Would love to taste this fresh at the brewery some day..maybe next summer..
YourDarkLord (1800) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - DEC 28, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Very good IPA. Pours a hazy dark amber with an off-white head. Aroma is grapefruit/hops. Body is creamy and smooth, nicely carbonated. Flavor was a refreshing grapefruit/citrus that was very appealing. Good stuff.
RogerBurks (45) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 27, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Iím not a big IPA fan, but a work colleague bought me a six-pack for Christmas. I was pleasantly surprised. Itís got the hoppiness and floral quality of an IPA, but also a nice fruit-spice taste as well. Itís very "natural" tasting, very clean and appealing. Thereís very little bitterness in the palate, which I like - the melange of intriguing flavors lingers long. This is an IPA that I will buy myself.