Wednesday, November 25, 2009

148. Big Time Perspective IPA/Scarlet Fire IPA

We had these two beers at Big Time Brewing Company, which is located at 4133 University Way NE, Seattle, WA; I’ve been going here off and on pretty much since I was of legal age (ahem), or at least there abouts; they’ve been brewing for 21 years now, since 1988. We even took my friend Dave there for his bachelor party—he was dressed as a clown (and a really sketchy clown—see below), so that made it extra fun. This was Elli’s first visit to Big Time, so we decided to try a couple of their IPAs. As always, they had a solid beer line up and everything was delicious and fresh tasting.

Perspective IPA has a bready nose with light hop aroma, but nothing clearly distinct; with a hazy copper color and a creamy white head, it laces the glass nicely. Beginning with a malty front and some light biscuit and cracker flavors, Perspective shifts to bitterness in the middle along with some floral hop flavors, and ends dry with some lingering and well-balanced bitterness & some just plain hoppiness. The bitterness in the middle blossoms as the beer warms. Medium bodied, Perspective is creamy but also dry with a light tongue curling from the hops. The hop profile leaves it somewhere between English and American versions of an IPA—there is too much hop aroma and flavor to be English, but is a not quite as much as some of the classic American examples, but it is nonetheless well crafted and very enjoyable. Overall, a well balanced and drinkable beer; it has a good “on tap” flavor—fresh, and not too crisp—and is a very good house beer.

From the Big Time website: “Yet another of Big Time’s signature big, bold and assertive IPAs. Simcoe and Amarillo hops dominate this one. Clinton, from the Park Pub in Seattle’s Woodland Park neighborhood, famously described this beer as ‘this S#!% is off the hook!’”

ABV: 6.5%
OG: 16.8° P

Scarlet Fire IPA has a caramel malt nose mixed with citrus, grapefruit, and resin hop flavors; it is a hazy dark copper with a white head. It opens with a sweet caramel malt front with maybe some crystal malt sweetness, and moves into a bitter middle with resin, grapefruit, grassy, and floral hop flavors; Scarlet Fire finishes sweet, with a little tongue curling from the lingering bitterness. Scarlet Fire is medium bodied, has a bit of tongue curling astringency, and a bit softer feel on the palate than Perspective, possibly from a bit lower level of carbonation. The hop profile is much more aggressive than Perspective; although very enjoyable, it is a bit less drinkable. Most certainly a solid version of an American IPA; while the balance is skewed towards hops, the malt profile does carry its load here.

From the Big Time website: “It’s come to be known as our fifth regular beer. A little bit bolder than the Bhagwan, with a greater depth of hop character through extensive first wort hopping. It's got all the C hops stuff that we love, just more.”

ABV: 6.4%
OG: 16.5° P


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