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,
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
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.