Thursday, 2 August 2012
International IPA Day
Thursday 2nd August 2012
Today is International IPA Day, so here comes a potted history in case you didn't know!
IPA Day was pioneered by Ashley Rouston (@TheBeerWench) & Ryan Ross (@RyanARoss) to both celebrate and promote a style (particularly when hoppy) that many would claim was their introduction into the wonderful world of tasty beer.
The first was held on the 4th August 2011 (the first Thursday in August) and today is the second of a global event that is gaining momentum. While there are lots of great IPAs being produced by lots of fantastic brewers and plenty of drinkers ready and eager to drink them this could grow and grow. This year I have a couple of IPAs just itching to be drunk so I'll dive right in.
First up is:
To Ol - First Frontier IPA 7.1%
I've been meaning to have this IPA for a while so this seems like the perfect opportunity to do so. I have previously had To Ol / Mikkeller collaboration beers and have given some of their history here and here, so if you want to know a bit about them you may want to have a read.
Tonight though I want to concentrate on the beer.
Described as an IPA "the American way" and dry-hopped with three US hop varieties, warrior, simcoe and centennial with a little caramel malt to 'balance the alcohol'.
It pours a slightly cloudy amber with an off-white head that billows and fades to a gentle frothy topping. The aroma is deep boozy peach and grapefruit peel with some pepper spiciness and a hint of varnish. Bitingly sharp over the tongue, it's surprisingly alcoholic and a little heavy initially then in sweep some bitter aloes which are hurried through by some honey-coated grapefruit peel.Next comes a burst of tropical fruit with a little caramel edge which fades to a coriander seed, white pepper bitter sharp finish.
A lovely way to start.
Time to drink some water to clear the palate and move on to:
To Ol - Final Frontier D IPA 9.0%
Well it's certainly got darker, and it's raining, see how I suffer for #IPADay !
So this is the sequel to First Frontier, but I know that you'd all worked that out for yourselves you clever lot.
It's got more of everything in relation to its predecessor they say, more body,hops, alcohol and kick to the perineum apparently, their words not mine!
Let's have a closer look.
Pouring a darker amber but clearer than the First Frontier it has the same billowing off-white head collapsing to a similar frothy topping. Lots of honey-caramel with grilled pineapple and toffee-apple grapefruit in the aroma, this seems an altogether richer, sumptuous and more complex offering. Smooth and a little fizzy over the tongue, layer upon layer of tropical fruit caramel, dark honey, tangerine, concentrated peach juice and some herbal notes, build and build on the tongue creating a wonderfully gooey mix of sweet caramel and heavily intense fruit. This is a big beer which coats the mouth with a gorgeously sticky melange of flavour. There is a little dryness in the finish but it is the latter flavour that stays with you for a deliciously long time.
These are two fabulous IPAs and well worth having one after another, with First Frontier quite obviously being Final Frontiers under-developed brother.
It's been a great IPA Day 2012 - here's to 2013. I may have one or two more so you may wish to follow me on twitter @1970sBOY to find out what I'm up too.