Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Zero Gravity T.L.A. IPA

Post #100: It has become widely popular to dry-hop beers with the same hop used for bittering the wort. This is a great example of showcasing one hop variety for many elements, in this case Summit hops being on both ends of the brewing process. I was fortunate to sample this beer on both cask and forced CO2 to get a better idea of the difference in serving. I highly suggest you ask for small samples of whatever they are serving on cask to compare differences in temperature, mouthfeel, flavor, balance, etc.

Alcohol Content: 5.9%
IBU: ?
Malts: 100% Pale Malt
Hops: Summit, CTZ

Price: $3/ Half; $5/ Full
Medium: Pulled from cask into a tulip glass

Aroma: Cask served allows for that warm hop nose, which I described as dank, sort of oniony or sweet garlic. Of course this is natural hop aroma and should not be taken literally. Otherwise puts off a floral addition to match the dankness. Malts are bready, approaching a toasted quality. Clean fermentation and sweet malts complement the intense hop aroma.
Appearance: Head development is very coarse, similar to lathering soapy water. White head poured about one inch with good retention. Cloudy, orange gold color with no bubbling - expected for low carbonation from cask. A cellar conditioned beer served on beautiful cask towers.
Flavor: Malty front is cereal-like or bready, starting out very smooth. Next sip comes out more as fresh vegetal with notes of lemongrass/ or similar. This quality also comes across as floral while a hint of grapefruit citrus comes through mid palate. Hop flavors are not quite as strong as the aromas, undertaking a slightly different flavor than the nose suggests. The finish remains a balance between malts and hops while the hop resins begin to take over in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Relatively warm from cask condition and very low carbonation. Creamy and slick on the palate with virtually no viscosity - a sessionable IPA. Some drying in their draught pour but less so with the cask version. Lower carbonation perhaps helps the maltiness more noticeable as well.
Overall Impression: Sampling side by side with their same IPA on draught allowed for many differences in perception and a great learning experience for trying to pick out the subtleties. Much of these differences is attributable to mouthfeel, which can greatly affect the perception of all the other flavors and more importantly, balance. Which version is better is simply a preference choice.
Wise words from the brewer: "A great pairing for TLA IPA is Tilapia".

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