Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday Night Tasting- Smuttynose Big A IPA & Shipyard XXXX IPA

Today we'll feature two beers, as last week's Tuesday Night Tasting got pushed back to today....

Smuttynose Brewing Co. - Portsmouth, NH
American Double / Imperial IPA
9.4 % ABV, 12 oz.

This is a full-bodied, India Pale Ale, which features a fresh, piney, floral aroma. The flavor certainly matches the aroma, and the initial though is HOPS. Upon the initial sip, you’ll notice that it is rather bitter; however, it’s a subtle bitterness. Unlike other big IPAs, this one doesn’t punch you in the face with hops. While it’s bitter, it doesn’t linger.

The bottle I picked up at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, NH was bottle conditioned in March of 2010. Although it was amazingly fresh, this may have contributed to it being low in carbonation. It appears to be unfiltered, but it has a mellow orange hue. It hangs bitter in your mouth, but once you have swallowed it, the bitterness is gone. It certainly makes you want to drink some more!

This is certainly a great beer in the Smuttynose line up!

Shipyard Brewing Co. - Portland, ME
Pugsley’s Signature Series - Shipyard XXXX IPA
9.25 % ABV, 70 IBU
12 oz (also available in 22 oz or on Draft)

This was another beer I picked up from Bert’s Better Beers a few weeks back. I had tried the Pugsley’s Signature Series Barley Wine and Imperial Porter after visiting the Shipyard Brewery last year, and enjoyed both, so I was excited to try the XXXX IPA.

This beer is extremely drinkable! It has a great amber color, with a minimal head. It’s not overly bitter, despite the 70 IBUs. It has a sweet mix of malt and hops. It’s a great new beer to the Signature Series!

It had subtle carbonation, and doesn’t fill you up. It’s another IPA for people looking to get into the style, and would go great with some bar-b-que or a nice grilled steak.


Dean said...

Thanks for the post. I often see the Smuttynose Big A available by the bottle down in the local beer store but oddly had never tried it.
When the weather begins to turn warm my tastes turn to the IPA and so your posting came at a fortuitous time. I too enjoyed how the bitterness didn't seem to get stuck to the roof of the mouth for the next half and hour as is common to Imperials. I'll definately buy this one again.

And should you ever want to sample something a little farther south grab something (anything) from Dogfish Head down in Deleware. I speak today, since we're on the subject of IPAs, specifically of the "Aprihop". Obviously dry hopped the aroma hits you as soon as you open the bottle. It has just enough apricot sweetness (which I don't tend to enjoy in beer) to offset what could have been an unpleasant amount of bitterness. Give it a go should you see it.
Well, this has gone on a bit longer than intended by that seems to happen when the wind if blowing and the beer is flowing.


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