Phillips: Amnesiac Double IPA (Canada: IIPA: 8.5% ABV)
Visual: Clear yellow gold. Large mounded yellow froth head.
Nose: Stewed apricot. Pineapple. Fresh crisp hops. Thick and lightly bitter. Fruit syrup and peach. Toffee, fudge, and crushed biscuits. Ginger bread. Light mint greenery.
Body: Greenery. Sour touch. Resin and hops. Malty toffee backbone. Lime. Apricot. Vanilla. Light coffee. Cream.
Finish: Bitter. Slight cardboard touch. Vanilla. Malt biscuits. Sour dough. Slightly cloying. Light frothy coffee. Light earthy.
Conclusion: A bottled bit of Canada brought back with me. How does it do? Well it is quite unusual for a Double IPA I will say that. For one thing there is a very thick texture and slightly sour tang to it that makes it come in heavier than most of the style. It plays an odd balance therefore – it pushes the malt sweetness heavily, and the greenery and hop feel are high, but it doesn’t seem to use any of the hop flavours that a double IPA can really boost up.
In fact, when you combine all the elements together it brings a slight milky coffee taste the whole thing. Not really what I expect from an IPA, ok, ok coffee IPAs exist but they are doing it more in tune with the whole beer. The slightly earthy feel of this reminds me of the UK traditional take on the style, but without the advantage of the real earth texture that helps ground them.
While an interesting set of items, overall it makes for a quite bland beer. Ok, there are big flavours, but no real quality well defined flavours – just strongly pushed dull bitterness and malt sweetness. Normally I would think that the beer was a tad old and so the hops were muted, but I drank this less than a week after buying, and the hops don’t feel muggy – just leaden.
So, I’m not sure if it is just trying to carve out its own niche as a bit of a different double IPA, or if it just fails at the style it aims for, but any which way it is an underwhelming Double IPA. Oh well.
Background: The last of the Canada beers, for real this time! The final bottle I brought back with me to do a tasting note of. Ok, I brought back another beer, but that was a USA beer for ageing. this is the last Canadian beer. Drunk very shortly after getting back, so to try as fresh as possible, something I don’t usually get with Canadian beers. This was actually drunk early morning after midnight due to jet lag having effectively inverted my perception of time. Drink while listening to B. Dolan’s new album – Feed The Wolf. This was found in a random bottle shop I happened to find whilst walking in Vancouver.