Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Big Storm Arcus IPA

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1501) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 25, 2015
When an IPA boasts big stats on the label, it definitely builds up an expectation in your mind. Going into Big Storm Arcus IPA I was prepared for something amazing considering it’s 6.9% ABV, 81 IBUs and honey is added to it. What I got was a fairly nominal IPA in all aspects – not that it was bad at all, just underwhelming. 

I poured a 12oz can into a tumbler glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.19 ($0.18 per ounce). Thanks to Mike for this can!

Appearance: The can didn’t gush when I opened it, but when I poured it into the glass it immediately foamed up massively. This is usually indicative of infection. It slowly dissipated and I topped it off, though I lost a few ounces to the foam-over spill. The body is a dark, murky, opaque shade of copper. The foam did linger and lace very well.

Smell: Perhaps the faintest trace of sour or tang, but otherwise there’s a typical assortment of pine and citrusy hops – though they’re actually muted by all the foam. Malt sweetness is present, too.

Taste: I was worried this can might be infected, but despite the appearance and smell, there was nothing in the taste that pointed to that being the case. This is a remarkably sweet beer for the style, though that might be due to the fact honey is added “at the end of the brewing process.” Usually, beers claiming to be brewed with honey have little actual honey flavor since the yeast eats it all up, though the malt bill might account for the flavor here. As for hops, there’s a general bitterness present, but it doesn’t seem nearly as intense as the 81 IBUs mentioned on the label. Some orange juice concentrate is noticeable as well as some sticky pine and resin. Overall, it’s a fine-tasting beer, but not nearly as good as it could or should be.

Drinkability: It didn’t surprise me that the mouthfeel to Big Storm Arcus IPA was thick and chewy. This is one of the few hop-forward brews that might actual benefit from being nitrogenated. The hops linger a bit and leave a dry, citrusy, almost medicinal aftertaste. The alcohol is subtle in both flavor and warmth, but in no way distracting. I could see this pairing well with dessert rather than any kind of savory dinner.

RATING: 6/10

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