The fourth beer in IPA Week 2011 is a bit of a mainstay in the Australian beer scene. It is one that I have seen around the traps, but I have only tried it a few years ago at the end of a long day of tasting. So IPA week (or more accurately, as I write this; International IPA day) is a great time to revisit.
Coming out of Jamieson Brewery in Victoria’s high country, this is a 7% abv IPA bought from McCoppins in Fitzroy. It was my first time at the store and they have a pretty good selection of beers. Worth a visit if you’re in the neighbourhood.
How does it look?
I really want to like the label of this. A dashing hero saving a well bosomed damsel from a big sabertooth tiger beast thing in the midst of a jungle aztec scene… but it’s more Biggles than Iron Maiden. And I’m a Maiden kinda guy.
In the glass, there wasn’t much head to it. It’s possibly down to dirt on the glass; as looking at other reviews, most people are saying it had a decent white froth on top. So I’m going to put that down to the glass and not an indication of the beer.
How does it smell/taste?
I’m getting toffee and pine from this one. The toffee really hit me as soon as got near the glass. Definitely not as hoppy as more recent takes on the style.
It has a smooth almost oily mouth feel, which is not unpleasant, and tastes strongly of caramel, toffee with a hint of citrus, apricot and a short bitter aftertaste. There’s also a slight pang of alcohol in there, but it’s well balanced overall.
When should I drink it?
I’m going to mix it up slightly and say this would be a great accompaniment to a rich Christmas cake. The strong toffee and apricot will hold it’s own with a post-Christmas-lunch slice of boozy fruit cake, and the 7% alcohol will definitely make your Christmas afternoon nap more peaceful.
I tend to struggle with beers that are that strong in toffee and caramel. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, it’s more that I struggle with wanting to enjoy them. It’s a personal palate issue and as mentioned, it would go great on Christmas day; but so does giving someone a pair of socks. Sure I have fun at the time, but I don’t think I want to do it everyday.
You can read my other IPA week reviews here.
There’s one more review left for IPA week. It’s been a good week, right?