Saturday, September 5, 2015

Orange Drank - Tasting Notes

Brewery: Old North Brewing
Style: India Pale Ale 
Brewed On: 08.16.2015
Kegged On: 09.01.2015
OG: 1.060 (after dilution from 1.063)
FG: 1.009
ABV: 6.7%

Appearance: Completely opaque. Ridiculously so. Big, sticky off-white head hang around for quite a while. Nice tight bubble structure. When not in good light, the beer appears a bit brown. In good light it's nice and orange.

Smell: My wife said "This smells like sunshine!" when I handed her a sample. I'm inclined to agree. Huge citrus aroma. Layers of mandarin, tangerine, meyer lemon, starfruit, mango, and a hint of pine. Just layers of tasty citrusy hops.
Taste: The caramel 40 gives this a bit too much of a malt flavor for my preferences. Other than that, this is a great beer. Bitterness stands nicely among a storm of hop flavors. As the beer warms the flavors evolve from orange juice to mangoes and tangerines. Oatmeal flavor is present as well, but in the background.
Mouthfeel: Thick. Like so thick. Nearly milkshake thick. This beer is thicker than some stout's I've had. Also super creamy. Carbonation (at 2.2 vols) is nice. 
Overall: Great beer. Next time I brew, there will certainly be a few tweaks to the malt bill to rebalance some flavors. But I really like this IPA.

Wow. So in some ways this beer completely blew away my expectations. In fact, some things ended up being a bit too much. I didn't know that was possible.

The mouthfeel of this body rivals many stouts I've had. It's ridiculous. I love it, and at the same time I think I might have gone a bit overboard. It's like a hoppy, citrusy milkshake. When I brew this beer again, I plan to reduce the oatmeal content to something like 0.5-1 # (still around 5-10 % of the grain bill) and add in around 0.5 # of wheat malt as well. The caramel 40 is a bit too much as well, and I think I will go with caramel 20 or carared next time around. I think this will bring the body a little more inline with what I had in mind. I definitely will have to refine the malt bill of this recipe in the next few iterations to really nail my vision of this beer.

The water chemistry seems to have been a huge success. There is a certain creaminess about this beer that can't be attributed solely to the flaked oats. The hop aromas are way more in-your-face and the flavors are really nice, but the bitterness melds nicely into the background, supporting but not overwhelming.

I think with a few tweaks this beer will be absolutely amazing. 

Recipe and brew log may be found here.

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