Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Caldera IPA

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Chad9976 (925) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 17, 2013
I poured a 12oz can into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date. It cost $2.95 ($0.25 per ounce).

Appearance: Mostly clear copper hue, some carbonation visible. Forms a large, ivory, frothy head which retains and laces well.

Smell: Mostly just pine and general earthy aromas; a hint of lemon.

Taste: I like hops as much as the next craft beer enthusiast, but when they’re not matched with the proper body the results can be a bit disappointing. Caldera IPA is a good example as it’s a fairly light IPA at only 6.1% ABV, yet it has the extreme bitterness of an imperial brew at 94 IBUs. The hops are a tad obnoxious and the malt base is way too sweet for this style.

There’s a lot of bitterness throughout the palette here. It’s dry at first, then becomes a bit more dank and earthy as it progresses. Piney for sure, though noticeably rustic and heavy as opposed to light pine needles. The malt base is remarkably sweet - similar to a lemon lollipop. The hops do impart some citrus flavors, but all they do is echo the maltiness rather than balance it out. It finishes a little dry with a slightly cloying aftertaste of caramelized sugar and sheer hop bitterness. It’s not that this beer is bad per se, but it’s just not right for the style and certainly not to my preferences.

Drinkability: While not all that heavy of a beer, Caldera IPA seems like a bigger brew than it is. A lot of that has to do with the intense bitterness and sweet taste. Though only 6.1% ABV, it has the lower drinkability of a heavier brew. Not an ideal hoppy beer for amateurs, though pros should have no trouble getting it down (just prepare for a cloying aftertaste). 
Grade: 4/10