Thursday, April 16, 2015

Upstate Brewing I.P.W. (2015 re-review)

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1326) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 16, 2015
This is a re-review of a beer I thought was solid when I first had it back in 2013. Upstate Brewing’s I.P.W. is a hybrid IPA/pale wheat ale brew. In its original incarnation is leaned more toward the wheat side, but this time it’s more of a traditional IPA with focus on the hop aroma and flavor and less on the raw bitterness and wheaty body. It’s sweet this time as well, making it more well-balanced and more of a complete beer overall.

I poured a 16oz can into a weizen glass. It was canned on 3/4/15 and a 4-pack cost $9.99 ($2.50 per can or $0.16 per ounce).

Appearance: Slightly darker than last time; more of a true orange/copper color rather than a golden/maize. Mostly clear with slight haziness and some sediment and carbonation visible. Pours to an average-size, white, frothy head which laces and retains very well.

Smell: Clean, bright, floral and citrus aroma. Some underlying wheat scent is noticeable, albeit subtle.

Taste: This is the kind of palette you want and expect out of an American IPA. More in the West Coast style with citrusy hops; plenty of ruby red grapefruit raw bitterness but a slightly juicy flavor underneath. I detect a caramel malty sweetness, but not so strong that I would consider this a sweet beer per se. The base palette is actually quite dry due to the wheat, which is mild but impossible to completely overlook. It has a bit of a cracker flavor, actually. Biting bitterness at the apex with continued hoppy flavor on the finish with a touch of orangepeel. It might still be a little strong in the IBUs, but this is still a solid IPA-ish beer.

Drinkability: You can throw wheat into pretty much any style of beer to thicken up the mouthfeel and create for better head retention. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that when done right, and Upstate Brewing I.P.W. is a good example of this. Medium-bodied at most, though still consistently crisp with a bit of a bite on every swig between the hops and the wheat. It doesn’t seem to be quite as big as its 6.5% ABV weight, though. I would say it’s strong enough to stand up to a flavorful meal, but too big to session. A standalone 16oz can is an ideal serving size. 
Score: 8/10

NOTE: Read my 2013 original review here: http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2013/10/upstate-brewing-ipw.html