Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Brew Kettle White Rajah IPA

The last beer in my trade with James Knott of A lot of people told me this was the best of the lot when they saw it on my Facebook and Twitter. I like a good IPA and this one is supposed to be a great one, so will it be?

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (652) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 21, 2012
I received a 12oz bottle from a friend in Ohio (thanks, James!). I poured it into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark orange but seems to have a glowing aura to it. Forms an average sized, white, frothy head which retains and laces fairly well.

Smell: Orange juice concentrate plus significant earthy character of resin and/or black tea leaves.

Taste: White Rajah IPA is a beer that definitely pushes boundaries. It’s a big, ballsy single IPA that can compete with doubles no problem. Strong hop bitterness throughout the palate plus a strong, sweet malt backbone to balance it out. At 70 IBUs it’s strong enough to run roughshod over your palate but isn’t anything absurd.

Subtle earthy resin-like flavors that are akin to black tea begin the palate. Then it turns on a dime into a rich, sweet, almost confectionery taste of tropical fruit juice concentrate. Orange is definitely the most dominate flavor, with a subtle orange sherbet taste in the background. It grows even more bitter on the second half and finishes with a liquid dry sensation and a slightly sticky texture. Not quite cloying, but very far from being refreshing. Delectable to be sure and enough energy to satisfy any hophead. Not as complex as I’d prefer, but a small price to pay for an enjoyable, impressive beer.

Drinkability: We’ve established that the White Rajah IPA is pretty big for its size and style, it almost drinks like something from the next higher weight class. The mouthfeel is certainly thicker and softer than your average IPA and seemingly less carbonated too. There’s no alcohol presence, but at only 6.8% it’s unlikely most drinkers would pick up on it anyway. The aftertaste is a little drying between the sweetness and hop bitterness, but I’d imagine this would be a great brew to pair with a robust dinner.

Grade: 8/10

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