Total Score: 8.5/10
Anyone guessed the theme for tonight’s double-header yet? It’s pretty obvious, if you missed it I can’t help you. You need to see a professional. I know I’m called Doc, however this is a moniker – I’m not a real doctor. With that out of the way I’m looking forward to this Stillwater brew, who coincidentally have collaborated with tonight’s other brewer: Collective Arts [this is not the theme, nice try!]. What we have here is another New England IPA. This time with Manderina Bavaria & Huell Melon hops (OK this is going to be an interesting beer) along with Mosaic & Centennial, oats and lactose for body. Quite an intriguing hop bill, though I suspect the Mosaic/Centennial hops will overpower the German ones, let’s see then.
Poured from a 473ml can into a nonic pint.
A: Ok, well, not a NEIPA here then – slight hazed golden body with a billowy white head that descends leaving sticky lace on the side of the glass. When I say “not a NEIPA” I mean in the sense that the body is almost clear, it’s missing that haze, but who cares if the golden liquid inside tastes great? Not I. 7/10.
S: Floral with honeydew melon accents, glad the Huell Melon made it past the gate-keeping Mosaic/Centennial then… hints of mandarin and orange blossom, Juicy Fruit chewing gum, it’s surprising how muted that Mosaic/Centennial combo is, TBH I was not expecting the Manderina Bavaria & Huell Melon to shine this much, especially that honeydew melon character – noice! 9/10.
T: Not a NEIPA, cool, let’s quickly get past it because this is one moreish American IPA. Flavour is upfront with that honeydew melon and orange blossom honey sweetness followed by hints of mandarin, lemon, Juicy Fruit chewing gum leading in to a biscuit malt base, hint of pineapple, and light citric bitterness in the finish. Aftertaste lingers with the above fruity combo – top-notch stuff here. 9/10.
M: Medium, almost heavy-bodied, with a full/dense carbonation. Weird, didn’t see evidence of secondary but this was just as gassy as Life in the Clouds. 7/10.
D: This is one tasty IPA, balanced superbly by Stillwater – the fact that they were able to give those German hops a chance to shine is a testament to their skill as a brewer, armchair brewers like myself will note: Manderina Bavaria & Huell Melon hops have a lower alpha acid content than Mosaic & Centennial, so the fact they were able to balance this so well is admirable (brewing is more art than science IMO). Mouthfeel could have used less carbonation though. 8/10.
Food match: A smart beer like this deserves a smart gourmet pizza: Okonomiyaki.