This is mid-term week for Auburn Brewing Science Masters Program. I am up to my eyeballs in yeast cell biology, contamination test, and calculations for mass and energy. After a few days of studying I needed a break. I decided to try a Comparison Tasting for the Certified Cicerone Exam that I am also studying for. This tasting compares a Pale Ale, American IPA, and Double IPA.
Alesmith Brewing Company, .394 Pale Ale: This was a collaboration beer made with the baseball great Tony Gwynn. In 1994 “Mr. Padre” batted 0.394% an impressive feat. This is a very clear amber color beer has a white head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is similar to the orange citrus blossom that is often picked up when you drive through the orange groves in Southern California. There is a malt Sweetness that evolves into a caramel sweetness as the glass warms. The hop flavor is similar to the aroma with citrus floral dominating the beer’s taste. The bitterness is only enough to cut the sweetness to provide a balanced mouthfeel for the beer. I could definitely enjoy this beer through the length of a baseball game. On the last pour of the glass there was quite a bit of haze that came from the bottom of the can. Drinkers should be cautious of the pour to avoid this haze.
Allende Brewing Company, The Dead Beer IPA: This Mexican made beer is slightly darker in color with the same white head that dissipates quickly. The clarity is quite nice and you can read text through the glass. The aroma is more citrus lemon with a caramel aroma coming through as the glass warms. The stronger malt flavors are still dominated by the hops flavors of citrus (lemon) and pine. There is a slight astringency on the mouthfeel. This is not unpleasant and I could probably drink two glasses but by the third the astringency may be too much. Medium to full body. There is definitely a good deal of trub at the bottom of the bottle. For those that are pouring this beer in a glass be cautious at the end of the pour to keep this out of the glass.
Lost Coast, Fog Cutter Double IPA: Lighter amber color which is similar to the Pale Ale. The white head is probably the most persistent of all three. This is strange due to the high (8.7%) ABV normally driving down head retention. A strong citrus and pine aroma hits the nose and is persistent throughout the glass. There is a malt flavor but it is quickly overwhelmed with the hop flavors. These hoppy resin bitterness hits the tongue on the initial sip and lingers long on the back of the mouth. It took several rinses of water to clear my pallet to compare the pale ale and American IPA to the Double IPA. Highly assertive bitterness that dominates the senses. There is a film on the bottom that when pouring in a glass caution should be made to not get this in the glass.