Total Score: 9.75/10
Deschutes Brewery has been one of the US brewers I’ve been trying to get my hands on ever since I began walking… the day after having a big night out drinking American craft beer (see how important it is to finish some sentences). Anyway Deschutes, Russian River and The Alchemist are all up there in my fantasy beer world. Well no longer for Deschutes (take that brain!) as The Durham (Canberra) managed to get a few of their brews in and I went straight for the big guns: Fresh Squeezed IPA.
Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Hazy deep amber body with a 2cm off-white head – smack in the middle of classic IPA territory yes. 9/10.
S: Pineapple forward with citric/pine notes and hints of caramel malt. Tropical and citric hops domineering throughout this fantastic aroma! I want this in an aftershave… actually scratch that, an aftershave of this would have me salivating constantly – somehow I think ladies might get the wrong impression of me from this. 10/10.
T: Wow! All of the above (pineapple, citrus/pine) the balance between hops and caramel malts is superb – a master class in how to balance sweet/bitter characters. Tropical fruit from the Mosaic hops (which are fast becoming my favourite hop) mix well with the lemon/lychee Citra flavours. Someone told me the other day that Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA had better flavour but he was wrong – this beats it. 10/10.
M: Medium bodied with a light carbonation and plenty of hop oils sloshing around (in fact you could see oil drops in the pour). 8/10.
D: Verdict: My new favourite IPA. Although it’s pretty mild as far as hop bitterness in American IPAs go (it’s more like an American Pale Ale in this respect) it has such flawless balance, and the tropical/citric/pine combination I know and love. I reckon I could down a case of this quicker than a dying man in a desert. It’s 6.4% ABV and you hardly notice it. I’m having a double take here: I need to get it again just to make sure it really is this good or if I happened to have a miraculously good batch – the bottling date is August 2014 – fresh IPA at its best. 10/10.
Food match: Classic IPA cuisines for me are Thai/Vietnamese/Malaysian, however I have a feeling this Ale would be just at home with a gourmet pizza too.