Monday, March 18, 2013

Port City Monumental IPA

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (830) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 18, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date and there was a thick layer of sediment stuck to the bottom of the bottle.

Appearance: Dark copper color that’s quite hazy but still translucent. Forms a large, off-white, frothy head which laces and retains rather well.

Smell: Strong herbal tea and pine park aroma.

Taste: It seems like it’s been a while since I had a good old fashioned "East Coast style" India Pale Ale, though I’m not sure Port City Monumental IPA truly is to that style. Though it’s brewed with Centennial and Amarillo hops, it’s not a citrus or floral bomb in any way. It’s much more akin to green tea or pine needles but without any trace of resin or other sticky/sappy character. There’s plenty of malt here, created for a surprisingly bready taste with a hint of caramel or toffee, though I wouldn’t call it a sweet beer per se.

I believe I was drinking a rather old bottle which might account for the flavors present here. And though plenty bitter, it was more of a refined bitterness that lurks in the background instead of an overt hop character that’s in your face. The 57 IBUs ride shotgun until just before the beer finishes where there’s a smooth hop bite. I detect some citrus flavor in the aftertaste, but it fades quickly. Overall, a decent palate and a beer I’d reckon is much better fresh but still pretty drinkable in the bottle.

Drinkability: This is the type of beer I’d recommend for less experienced drinkers as the balance of the palate, and the low intensity makes it quite comfortable in the mouth. The body isn’t too heavy and the texture is soft rather than crisp with only a slightly dry aftertaste. At 6.3% ABV it seems a little inefficient, but that’s okay because a single serving should suffice. 
Grade: 7/10

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