Saturday, October 24, 2009

116. Long Trail IPA

Our second beer from Long Trail; our last one was the Long Trail DIPA.

Long Trail IPA has a low malt and light floral hope nose along with a bit of mustiness; the color is hazy golden with a creamy white head that laces the glass well down the sides. Opening with a light malt sweetness, Long Trail IPA moves into a big bitter middle and then finishes dry with a little sourness. The body is light to medium, and the carbonation is bright with a nice bite to it. There is also some dryness and puckering in the mouth via the hop bitterness. A good beer overall; it could use more of a malt body to set up the beer, and more complexity and balance between the malt and hop profile—the dimensions are a bit limited. The mix between English IPA hopping—tons of bitterness and no real hop flavor or hop aroma—and a more neutral American IPA malt profile doesn’t work as well as it could, leaving the beer interesting but not super exciting.

From the bottle: We’ve brewed our filtered IPA for 13 years, and never considered offering the REAL (unfiltered) version that is naturally carbonated just as it comes out of our fermenters. Well here it is! We hope you enjoy our REAL IPA.”

From the Long Trail website: “Real IPA, as it ws first brewed in the days of the British Empire, was not the carefully filtered brew that we call IPA today. The first IPAs were unfiltered and featured extra hops and higher strength as a preservative for the long trip from England to the colony of India. Our traditional IPA is naturally carbonated, dry-hopped & unfiltered like the old days.”

ABV: 5.9%
IBU: 56
Malts: Two-Row and Crystal
Hops: Nugget and Cascade

For our sixth BJCP class, the focus was on hops. Besides discussing the different uses of hops within the boil—bittering, flavoring, and aroma—we looked at the different types of packaging for hops (leaf, pellet, plug, extracts, and oils), and different hop varieties. After running through the European, English, and American hop varieties, we had an interesting discussion about the similarities and differences between American and English IPAs, and how hop use and hop choice influenced and affected those styles. A good time was had by all....

Our fine fine sampling beers for the day included dark ales:
12A. Brown Porter: Sam Smith’s Famous Taddy Porter
12B. Robust Porter: Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald
12C. Baltic Porter: Baltika Porter
13A. Dry Stout: Guinness
13B. Sweet Stout (Milk or Cream): Left Hand Milk Stout
13C. Oatmeal Stout: Samuel Adams Oatmeal Stout
13D. Foreign Extra Stout: Lion Stout (Tropical-Type)
& Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (Export-Type)
13E. American Stout: we didn’t try this one—8 is enough
13F. Russian Imperial Stout: I think the Lion Stout was supposed to be this, but in reviewing the BJCP style guidelines, I’ve moved it up to where it is supposed to be. Don’t worry—part two of my day should take care of any loose threads...

So after the BJCP class, I went home to rest up for the Miami Valley Beerfest, which focused on big beers and barley wines. Class ended at noon, and this started at two, so basically, my only real goal was to eat a big meal and drink lots of non-alcoholic fluids...this was going to be a long long day of drinking.

What I sampled:
Allagash Curiex (Bourbon Barrel Tripel)
Brewdog/Mikkeller Divine Rebel (Barley Wine)
Brooklyn Monster (Barley Wine)
Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron (American Brown Ale)
Founders Old Curmudgeon (Old Ale)
Great Divide Hercules Double IPA (Imperial IPA)
Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout)
Green Flash Imperial IPA (Imperial IPA)
Harviestoun Ola Dudh 12 Year (Old Ale)
Harviestoun Ola Dubh 30 Year (Old Ale)
Harviestoun Ola Dubh 40 Year (Old Ale)
Ithaca Brute (American Wild Ale)
J. W. Lees Calvados (Barley Wine)
J. W. Lees Lagavulin (Barley Wine)
Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura Dark Dawn Stout (Sour Stout)
Kiuchi Hitachino XH (American Strong Ale)
Stone/Brewdog/Cambridge Juxtaposition (Black Imperial Pilsner)
Victory Hop Wallop (Imperial IPA)
Widmer Cherry Oak Doppelbock (Doppelbock)

I also had some Goose Island Bourbon County Stout via Aaron, but that wasn’t on the record, if you know what I’m saying.

My notes are pretty spotty, especially as the day progressed. Juxtaposition was not as good as I expected, and neither was Madrugada Obscura. I liked the Ola Dubh 30 Year better than the 40 Year. The peatiness of the J. W. Lees Lagavulin was very nice, but could use some aging, so if I can score some more of that, I’ll throw it in the cellar for a bunch of years and see what happens. Divine Rebel and Old Curmudgeon got good marks, but the rest was mostly a blur of tasty tasty beery goodness.

All told, this puts me at 29 beers for the day. Let’s hope this is a record that stands for a while—I walked home and after this and made good friends with my couch for several hours...


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