Holgate Road Trip (the re-review)

Total Score: 7.45/10 HopFlower1Passionfruit1CutGrass1Nonicpint1

Normally I reserve my re-reviews for beers that have infections or for whatever reason they’ve gone awry at some stage in the brewing process (e.g. my reviews of Delirium Tremens & Sixpoint Sweet Action). However this time a Holgate rep Gino provided me with this bottle brewed only 7 days ago – it doesn’t get any fresher than that! He also advised me that Holgate are torpedoing this IPA now and it should be better than ever so I should re-review it. I accepted his freebie but warned him “be careful what you wish for”… My original review gave it a pretty decent 7.5/10, it may end up lower this time [I imagine his fingers are crossed right now].

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Almost clear SAE amber body with a wispy half centimetre cream-coloured head. Looks rather the same (though this is slightly hazed) as from my original review so I didn’t alter my score here. 6/10.

S: Yep, bout as fresh as hops get – that grassy/green/cannabis overtone you get from smelling a bag of hop pellets comes through nice and assertive. Hints of passionfruit and piney hop notes also struggle to get past the greenness of the hop character, no doubt these notes will come out more when you store this beer longer before beginning to fade away (as hops do). Not quite as juicy in the aroma as a fresh can of Pirate Life but close. 9/10.

T: Orange upfront, follows through to passionfruit, grassy/herbal/cannabis mid-palate, and finishes with a reasonable level of bitterness. Definitely more west coast USA than the original I had years ago, and the torpedoing helps with this. However there is an oddly out of place grainy character towards the finish (that I’ve noticed before in Aussie beers but never in US beers) it’s hard to put my finger on but it does distract from the overall enjoyment of Road Trip. 7/10.

M: Medium bodied with a decent amount of hop oils and a light but dense carbonation. 8/10.

D: Apart from that odd grainy note towards the finish this has all the hallmarks of an improved brew, only with that it feels a bit like “one step forward, two steps back”. Why and for what they added that somehow or it got in unintentionally is beyond me, however I do feel if they can address that they’ll have, well not quite a Pirate Life IPA killer, but something like it. Cheers Gino! 7/10.

Food match: Same as before: BBQ’s, Asian cuisine, roasts.

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