Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Zero Gravity Ale-Communication

I was fortunate enough to celebrate national IPA day with a few fellow homebrewers at American Flatbread. The first beer I sipped on was their best-selling T.L.A IPA followed by the Ale-communication, an Imperial/ Double IPA. The description on the menu stated 5 varietal hops including Nugget and Galena in the dry hop. Dank, resiny, and delicious was the resulting impression.

Alcohol Content: 6.9%
IBU: ?
Malts: ?
Hops: Nugget, Galena, ?

Price: $3/half; $5/ full
Medium: Snifter/ small tulip glass

Aroma: Pleasant, sweet caramel malt backbone supports the resiny, floral nature of this hoppy IPA. Not necessarily any strong citrus character that people often associate with IPA's. Somewhat fruity but more likely derived from the malts and yeast. Certainly hop bombed.
Appearance: Moderately high carbonation appears as a dense white foam develops with thick lacing. Deep amber hue with moderate turbidity - neither clear nor hazy. Great head retention.
Flavor: Resiny, floral, and moderately spicy hop character practically from start to finish. Although malt sweetness is present, I overlooked it the first taste and had to pick up on it the second time around. Residual maltiness does last into the aftertaste while supporting the body for a high alcohol IPA. Notes of biscuit, cereal/ bread-like maltiness remains shadowed underneath the big hop character in the aftertaste. Some fruitiness but generally a clean fermentation - perhaps malts add some of the fruit notes as well as caramel sweetness. Alcohol plays with the hop bitterness and the perceived hop character as being spicy.
Mouthfeel: Alcohol moves across with deep warming sensations while the full malt body satiates the palate. The serving temperature was perfect for brining out hop character in the aroma and flavor. Some drying in the finish and aftertaste but maltiness reduces this perception. Moderately high carbonation helps move the beer but there is still considerable viscosity for this full-bodied IPA.
Overall Impression: The biscuity character reminds me of an English IPA while the big hop character, bitterness, and alcohol distinguishes it as an imperial IPA. As the session progressed I found it to actually finish with a bit of cloying sweetness to the malts. This is typically due to unfermentable malt sugars. Although its not a flaw, this just means I probably wouldn't want to session a whole night of the Ale-communication. A great beer to have with pizza topped with crushed red peppers to provide even more heat for the beer pairing.

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