Art Brew: Aged IPA (England: IPA: 5.8% ABV)
Visual: Orange with amber hints. Some small bubble carbonation. Massive off white mounded head that left lots of lace and suds.
Nose: Ginger. Crisp wheat. Lemon. Brown sugar.
Body: Earthy and bitter. Light orange. Mild brown sugar. Vanilla. Smooth. Toffee. Dill pickle and lime prickle. Ginger.
Finish: Earthy. Paprika. Soil. mango. Pineapple. Zesty orange. Malt chocolate. Bitter. Slight cane sugar.
Conclusion: What the fuck is that head? I swear I tried to pour carefully. This is a touch of a lively one boys and girls. Also, are they trying to cram every Art Brew beer I have ever tried into this thing? There is a Spanked Monkey IPA ginger notes, and ,well, IPA notes – there is a heap of lovely vanilla like IBeer, sweet notes, earthy feeling hops and subtle American fruit notes.
Lots going on.
Initially it comes across as only a simple earthy bitter IPA – odd considering it was made with four USA based hops, and even as the rest of the beer grows that earthiness remains a stubborn characteristic of the finish – feeling very Brit soil hop IPA style.
But the rest of the beer does grow – the soft main body texture becoming layered with fruit and the robust toffee backbone becomes the mainstay of the beer, with light spice and ginger notes giving a gentle warmth to the whole experience. Oh and a touch of vanilla. Did I mention I love the vanilla heavy IBeer?
It, far all that, feels closest to a Brit styled IPA. For all the American fruit flavour, the ageing seems to have led to a diminishing of the brash hop forward characteristics but kept the soil notes. However in exchange it gains a very smooth character and a very good range, even becoming very sweet by the end as the toffee body takes centre stage.
It isn’t setting the world alight but it has a whole host of elements I love (*cough* vanilla. Ibeer) and all mashed together into a satisfying beer that keeps your attention to the last drop.
Background: Welcome back Art Brew! these guys were one of my regular pints back when I started doing notes, they’ve had their ups and downs over the years, but they are back again now. I had to grab this one, Art Brew back, doing a one year aged IPA (An unusual style to age) and one of only Sixty bottles. Yeah, I grabbed it. from Independent Spirit, to no ones’ surprise. Drank while listening to the Gunflowers EP and some Shadows Fall: Fallout From The War.