Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Long Trail Brewmaster Series Double IPA


I haven't reviewed anything from Long Trail in a long time (no pun intended). I've only reviewed their main offerings in the 12oz bottles - nothing in their "Brewmaster" series, so I was eager to give their Double IPA a try. As you'll see in the review, this isn't technically the first time this beer has been drank by me.

P.S. watch that video of me and the Imasofats here:
http://youtu.be/hr1EQas4Y9w

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (643) - Albany, USA - AUG 23, 2011

I poured a 22oz bomber into an oversize wine glass.

Appearance: Pure orange colored body. Mostly clear with slight haziness, some carbonation visible. Forms an average-sized, yellow/beige fluffy, soapy head. Very good retention and lacing.

Smell: Pine needles, frozen fruit juice concentrate and flowers. Begins to emit a phenolic character as it warms.

Taste: Not to pigeonhole or disrespect this beer, but if I had to chose a beer as an example of a generic "double IPA" I think this beer by Long Trail would be it. It’s basically everything you want in an IPA only stronger. Immediately I get a light, sharp bitterness across the tongue, followed by a rich, sweet, juicy flavor and texture. It’s an interesting combination of light pine and tropical fruits like mango, guava and papaya (but not citrusy per se). The finish is the same - with the sweetness even stronger, but suddenly a dry, intense bitterness appears and steals the show.

Long Trail’s Double IPA reminds me a lot of the renown West Coast double IPAs, only with pine instead of citrus up front and the sweetness a little less intense in the back. It’s actually quite refreshing while in the mouth, especially at the very moment it’s swallowed. Hops linger for sure, but are very tolerable - even comfortable.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied all around, with noticeable energy, but nothing overwhelming.

Drinkability: This beer is no slouch as the tale of the tape reveals it’s pretty hefty at 8.6% ABV and 86 IBUs. Drank cold it’s highly drinkable, but even as it warms it doesn’t turn into a sipper (it does get drier, though). There’s no alcohol presence in the body or palate, which makes it almost dangerously drinkable. A great beer to pair with pretty much anything, but works very well on its own.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Long Trail Brewmaster Series Double IPA. While not the tastiest beer in the world, it’s a very good, if not typical, example of the double IPA style.

Grade: 8/10