Sunday, May 16, 2010

320. Short’s Huma-Lupa-Licious IPA

“A complex malt and hop theme park in your mouth.”

This is our first beer from Short’s Brewing Company in Elk Rapids, MI. We can just add them to the list of awesome Michigan breweries, although they do not seem as stout-obsessed as Bell’s, Founders, and Dark Horse (when you start taking a closer look at the seasonal list, that opinion does change a bit, but peercentage-wise they still seem to be well below the minimum Michigan brewery stout threshold—and yes, they have people that keep track of that sorta thing).

Huma-Lupa-Licious pours an orange-ish copper with a minimal white head that quickly disappears; the nose is all hops: citrus, floral, spicy, and grassy hop aromas along with a bit of a dank vegetal smell. Beginning with small amounts of bready malt flavor before being swallowed by the hoppiness, Huma-Lupa-Licious has a lightly bitter middle with grassy, citrus, and floral hop flavors that are delicate and balanced. The finish starts with a slightly vegetal flavor before giving way to a chalky, dry bitterness that lingers nicely on the palate. The body is medium with a decent amount of puckering from the hops as well as a good amount of astringency in the mouthfeel, both of which contribute to the dryness at the end. In terms of carbonation, it is about medium, but not very noteworthy otherwise in relation to the overall mouthfeel. Huma-Lupa-Licious does a good job of foregrounding the hops, both in flavor and bitterness, but not making the rest of the beer outlandish at the same time—the hop flavor is excellent and even, as noted above, delicate, and the malt has sufficient backbone to keep up and yet remain in the background—the dry puckering hop bitterness is not tempered with a dose of caramel malt, just more delicious delicious hops. We’re making this one a Top 10 Best contender.

From the Short’s website: “Named after the hop flower Humulus Lupulus, this best selling India pale ale style beer has enormous amounts of hops which really seems like a punch in the face. Hop flowers from the numerous strains used in this recipe render a delicious bitter taste and enticing citrus aroma. Flavors from a hearty malt bill meld with the hops to balance this ale and provide a ridiculous urge to sample more.”

ABV: 6.6%


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