I have to crow about how proud I am of my cousin Bull and his IPA. For lack of knowing a specific name, I'll call it Man O'War IPA (that's a link to his blog post about it), but informally I call it "delicious."
I'm not a fan of overpowering hops; some of the pricier and fancier IPAs out there today trying to make a name for themselves want to be EXTREME, so they just dial up the hops and call it a day. Not so for this IPA. Yes, the hops are the prominent feature of this beer. That's as it should be. The hops are front and center, but as the hops fade, you get a nice progression of fruits and grain.
In his own assessment on his blog, Bull noted a grapefruity essence -- I noted this as well on the tail end of this brew. A big fan of grapefruit and citrus notes in beer, that's why I love dry-hopped brews. Not only do they affect the nose, as intended, the hop oils often impart some fragile and harder-to-predict essences that the brewing process would destroy. Dry-hopping (adding the hops in the fermenter, long after the boil) allows these oils to live in the beer and make into your nose and palate.
Bull entered this beer in the Yankee Spirits homebrew competition. I have no idea what other beers he'll be up against, but I believe that the judges will be as impressed with this beer as I am. I have shared this beer with cousin Bob, and cracked another open last night for Julie to try and the consensus is that this is a professional-quality brew. Best of luck in the competition, Man O'War.Posted by James at June 20, 2009 3:09 PM