Grandsun of Spot IPA is from Full Sail Brewing Company in Hood River, OR; this beer is part of their Brewmaster’s Reserve 2009 series.
Grandsun of Spot pours a burnished copper with an ivory head; the nose is both bready and hoppy with earthy, spicy, and resiny hop aromas. There are a lot of hops across the entire flavor profile; while there is an initial start to sweetness in the opening, the bite and tang of bitterness starts almost immediately, rising to a sharper bitterness in the middle with grassy and resiny hop flavors emerging, and closing with some sweetness and a return of bitterness coupled with some lingering astringency—there is more sweetness evident at the end than there was in the beginning. The initial mouthfeel is soft and dry, due both to hops and malt; the carbonation gives some bite in the middle and helps build the overall profile. The puckering and tongue curling from the bog hop profile comes with some astringency and low levels of tannic bite. The malt and the sweetness comes through in the front as the beer warms. The balance of this beer is to the hop side over the malt—there’s not quite enough malt backbone to carry off Grandsun of Spot’s big hop presence, and the balance could use better coordination to make the malt better compliment the hops, although the sweetness of the honey malt is a pleasant addition. The aggressive hop profile is enjoyable and works well, we just want a bit more malt to help carry the hop punch.
From the bottle: “The next brew in our summer ‘Sun’ series that began with Sunspot IPA. Grandsun is brewed in the aggressive IPA style with Columbus and Zeus hops accentuating a malt blend featuring Munich and Honey malts for a full malt flavor.”
There’s nothing on the Full Sail website for the Brewmaster’s Reserve 2009, but they do have their listing for 2010, which includes Spotless, their newest version in the Sunspot line: “Continuing our summer sun series, Spotless is named to honor our sun that has been spotless for over a year. This aggressive IPA has a rich golden color with a fruity finish. The beer is well hopped to 70 with Willamette and Zeus hops ending the beer a bright bitterness and a rich hop flavor.”