Monday, August 12, 2013

Karl Strauss Tower 10 IPA

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (940) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 12, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. I couldn’t find a freshness date. I got this from #BBC13.

Appearance: An opaque, dark shade of orange. Forms a large, off white, frothy head that retains and laces pretty well.

Smell: Sweet, clean aroma of orange and pine. Almost candy-like.

Taste: I was skeptical about Karl Strauss Tower 10 IPA, because the last time I tried it I really didn’t like it (long story). But now that I’m drinking it under ideal conditions I’m actually quite surprised how appealing it is now. Plenty of hop bitterness and flavor, but a prominent malt presence to give it true balance (which is surprising considering the city in which it’s made).

The first thing I notice is how sweet the malt base is. According to the brewery’s website, it’s made with a touch of lightly-kilned caramel malts, and it shows. Sweet yes, but nothing cloying or sticky as is often the case in bigger beers of the style. It’s also made with Chinook hops which tend to have astringent bitterness, but in this case they’re even out well with the Cascade and Centennial dry hops. Significant pine flavor throughout the first half of the palette, follow by citrusy tartness on the finish. I detect a hint of sweet tea or some kind of earthy/herbal character, but it’s restrained enough to make it genuinely pleasurable.

Drinkability: At 70 IBUs and 7% ABV, you’d think Tower 10 IPA wouldn’t be that easy to drink. While it certainly has an energetic presence in the mouth, the delivery itself is comfortable from start to finish. The hops do linger, but are tolerable for sure. I could see this beer being quite versatile. 
Grade: 8/10