Odyssey: Juice Vibe (England: IIPA: 8.5% ABV)

Visual: Light lemon juice to apricot. Cloudy body with a large white to yellow head.

Nose: Pineapple. Peach. Crisp hops. Light flour. Grapefruit.

Body: Very prickly hops. Chocolate toffee. Juicy peach. Pineapple. Grapefruit. Juicy apricot. Greenery. Dry. Light resin.

Finish: Chocolate toffee. Prickly hops. Light greenery. Hop oils. Vanilla yogurt. Pineapple. Hop bitterness and light hop burn. Light chalk. Hop oils.

Conclusion: Ok, this is not what I expected from the beer I first looked at when pouring it. On the eye it looks like of like the juicy New England fruity style, and with a name like “Juice Vibe” I presumed it would be solidly settling into that area.

Next up the aroma promised something a bit different – a tarter beer, possibly hopped in a west coast style. It felt dry, with pineapple and peach, with touch of grapefruit hinting at a possible mix of New Zealand and USA style hops. This seemed to be concentrating on the now classic fruity hop varieties, rather than the odder new wave of hop flavours – it looked to play an old school mix of tart and sweet notes.

Now we move onto the body that follows through on that with big pineapple as you would expect and a dry body wrapped around … chocolate toffee notes? What is such a sweet and big malt body doing poking its head in here and ruining my attempt to sum up this IPA using beer stereotypes?

So, New England cloudy look, west coast on the nose, a mix of east and west coast on the body. That is about as mixed up as it can get, right? Not quite, there is a heavy prickly hop character on the nose, a touch of greenery as it goes on and even a chalk touch that gives a grounding to this heavily tart beer.

Now, of all the things this does do, what it does not do is heavy bitterness. Oh it does have hop bitterness, probably enough in fact to put off someone who doesn’t like hops, but generally the bitterness is more a backing to the greenery hop character.

For a beer called Juice Vibe, this is nothing like fruit juice – unless you are drinking really fucked up fruit juice. However this East, West, New England, greenery and resin IPA is an intense beer, with slight dank touch, but not intense in a hop assault way – a real mix up of beer.

So mixed up as hell, unpolished, with pretty much everything shoved in – I like it, but I wouldn’t blame anyone who doesn’t.

Background: It is no secret that I bloody love Odyssey beers, especially their hop forwards beers. This is an Odyssey beer that is hop forwards, was I ever going to not buy it? Anyway, yeah another one from Independent Spirit, I should just get my wages put directly into their account and save time. Not much else to say on this one – put on Gogol Bordello – Multi Kontra Culti Vs Irony – been a while since I listened to their earlier stuff.

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