On a sun drenched evening earlier this week I sat down on my deck with 3 IPAs, a lamb madras and a palak paneer from the new Indian takeaway up the valley. On another evening I cranked Tom Petty and Johnny Cash on the stereo and tasted my way through 3 American or American style Pale Ales.
Ladies and Gentlemen in the Red corner wearing stars and stripes with an eagle on the shoulder and a menacing look in there eyes we have Epic Pale Ale, Emerson APA and Anchor Liberty, in the blue corner wearing the Union Jack with a cricket bat in their hands and a Leicester City FC scarf around the shoulder we have Deuchars IPA (wearing a Union Jack!!? The Scots will hate that) Goose Island IPA and Burton Bridge Empire Ale. A good clean fight…
Caledonian Deuchars IPA 4.4%ABV
We start with a modern day UK IPA low in strength and not as heavily hopped as one might imagine an IPA should be but as Ron Pattinson has so challengingly shown its hypocritical to refuse to accept a low strength IPA yet embrace a low strength Mild.
Pours a reassuring pale hue with a thick white head that climbs out of the glass. Aroma features heathery hops a touch of fresh red apple, and a touch of barley sugar. On the palate there is a dry barley sugar note, loads of heathery hop flavour and a chewy mouth feel all leading to a smooth bitterness.
Epic Pale Ale 5.4%ABV
The first APA up and it’s the star of recent NZ beer history. Full of American hops and finding its way into chillers that have never seen a craft beer in there lives its big its brash and you’ll never again be hopless.
Pours a pale gold with a sustained white head. Aroma features a complex mix of lychees, a touch of gooseberry, an un defined tropical fruit note, tropic Just Juice? . On the palate there is lots of tropical fruit, a slight salty note, some sweet malt a slightly hollow finish that seems to be neither bitter nor sweet. Fantastic aroma, a little unbalanced on the palate.
A classic American IPA that is well known for its resinous hop weight.
Pours a mid gold with a billowing thick white head. Aroma features big bold raw hop aroma, slightly dusty earthy hopsack note. On the palate there is biscuity sweet malt, tangy grapfruit and a smooth ballanced finish. Im sure I remeber this as being more bitter in the past.
Emerson’s APA 2006 vintage 6%ABV
Here I have cheated and offered up an archive tasting note on last years Emerson’s APA vintage.
Balance is the catch cry for the 2006 version. Outstanding fruity citric grapefruit with some lychee aromas jump out of the glass while on the palate citric hop flavour and luscious complex malt vie perfectly.
A historical IPA recipe from a micro brewer in
Very interesting historic IPA. Pours a mid gold with a tight white head. Aroma features a heady mix of yeasty fruit notibly apple perhaps some white grape, and alcohol. Palate starts with sweet malt, more apple some warmth then a resounding bitterness. Estery warm ale.
A classic American Pale Ale , arguably the APA that started the style, hoppy and resinous yet well cushioned with malt character.
Pours a mid gold with thick sustained white head. Aroma features citrusy hops, notably grapefruit and a cracker like malt note. On the palate there is more citrusy hop that is well balanced by biscuity malt culminating in a firm bitterness.
Who’s the winner ? don’t be daft its like apples and pears mate. I guess that’s a draw. I will see what happens at the tastings.
In true post modern fashion this blog entry about the Regional Wines tasting was used as a resource at the Regional Wines tasting. The public feeling seemed to be in favour of the IPA's over the APA's , I would probibly agree with that.
I was also informed that tasting notes from this blog will be featured in the next Regional Wines newsletter, rather flattering.