Sunday, June 14, 2015

Davidson Brothers I-87 IPA

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Chad9976 (1373) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 14, 2015
You would think since so few American breweries make truly to-spec English-style IPAs that when you encounter one you’d like it because it was unique, right? That cannot be said of Davidson Brothers I-87 IPA, which is technically to-spec, but not especially enjoyable. Let’s just say a beer like this shouldn’t be fermented with Ringwood yeast.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It had a best before date of 12/1/15 and cost $2.80 ($0.23 per ounce).

Appearance: Fairly dark copper/brown proper color. Body is actually quite clear with visible carbonation trickling up. Pours to a large, off-white, frothy head that laces and maintains surprisingly well.

Smell: Fairly strong butterscotch (diacetyl) aroma balanced by a candy or floral sweetness. Nothing in the way of distinct hop character, though.

Taste: It’s not very often the malts are the star of the show in an IPA, but in the case of this beer they are. Plenty of familiar English-style malt character, especially crystal, can be found from beginning to end. Lightly sweet, slightly biscuity with toffee and butterscotch (diacetyl) flavors on the finish. The hops create for a moderate dry bitterness with just a touch of floral character. Those expecting a high IBU bitterness will be disappointed. This could almost pass for an amber or even a brown ale. Even though it’s technically traditional EIPA, it’s not one of the better examples of the style. All around it’s just okay.

Drinkability: I’m not entirely sure of the alcohol percentage as it’s not listed on the bottle or the brewer’s website. But certain fairly reliable sites indicate a 6.4% ABV potency. That seems a tad high considering this is only a medium-bodied brew at best. The mouthfeel is at least pretty comfortable with a smooth texture and finish. The hops do linger and leave a dry, starchy aftertaste. This would pair with a meal that’s not too savory or spicy.

Score: 6/10

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