Gotlands: Sitting Bulldog IPA (Sweden: IPA: 6.4% ABV)
Visual: Overripe banana to brown. Good sized toffee touched creamy head. Some bubbled carbonation.
Nose: Thick. Peach. Pine needles. Vanilla custard. Caramel.
Body: Very milky coffee. Peach. Creamy. Light earthy hops. Strawberry crème. Lightly gritty. Light tart apples.
Finish: Milky coffee. Strawberry crème and bitter Belgian chocolate. Lightly earthy. Light pineapple. Light grapes. Earthiness rises over time.
Conclusion: This is odd timing – I only just posted up the Amnesiac tasting notes a few moments before breaking this open. Thus those notes were very much on my mind as I broke this open, and I could not help but draw comparisons between the two.
Again this is very malt heavy for an IPA, it pushes the sweet base, which again comes across with milky coffee, with lightly earthy bitterness behind it. The coffee is much more obvious in this one though.
The similarity surprised me as the nose was a real thick peach hop character – however when you get into the main body they play second fiddle to the very sweet base.
Now, this one does hang together a bit better. It is smoother, easier to drink and with more pronounced elements – but is seems to end up too dry and earthy, which creates a disconnect between body and finish.
So, great aroma, excellent and balanced to a “T” – far too heavy on the sweetness for the malt driven body, and far too earthy finish. For all the criticism I am giving here, the beer isn’t far off being all right. They have done interesting things with the malt – sweetness calling to strawberry tones for example. but those elements feel out of place.
I would think they either need to rework the beer to aim for a more malt driven style so they can emphasises their strengths, or start really building up the hop characteristics to make the rest of the beer match the nose.
As it stands it is a halfway between the two beer and doesn’t quite work as either. Drinkable, but confused.
Background: Disclaimer: This beer was donated to me for doing tasting notes by Chris from Independent Spirit as he had received some samples. Many thanks! As always I will attempt to be unbiased despite that. The only advantage I give to review bottles is I try to get them up on the site quickly, as is only polite. This time that was hampered by my fridge going out just after getting the bottle. Thankfully I have a working fridge now and cool IPAs. Drink while listening to Against Me! 23 Live Sex Acts. Against Me! are awesome live, and the CD caught some of that energy.