Sunday, June 6, 2010

341. Iron Springs Casey Jones Imperial IPA

This marks our first beer from Iron Springs Pub and Brewery in Fairfax, CA. It is also another beer with a dog on the label, which means Elli was pumped for the beer. Unfortunately, the beer didn’t live up to the dog-label-hype-theory—we’re not sure if the beer is old and has lost all of the hop flavor, or if it’s just not that good.

Described on the label as “a well balanced, well hopped double IPA,” and as “an homage to the OLG,” Casey Jones pours a reddish-orange caramel with a light white head that quickly reduces to a ring. The nose has a big caramel punch with some hop spiciness and grassiness in the background. Opening with a whole bunch of caramel flavor, Casey Jones moves into some hop bitterness in the middle, but without much in the way of hop flavor, and some biscuit malt flavor that is reminiscent of the malt flavor in a red ale. The finish is moderately bitter, but with too much lingering malt sweetness. The body is heavy and a bit cloying, and the carbonation is too light—there is not much effect from the bit of carbonation that is present. While there is a fair amount of puckering and dryness from the hops, it is still fighting an uphill battle with the heavy malt load. Or, put another way, the caramel backbone is overly aggressive; it is too sticky and chokes out the hop flavor across the flavor profile. While not terribly flawed, it is not the most enjoyable beer—it is certainly not a shining example of the style. Maybe with a couple more years it would make a nice barleywine, but as it is right now, not so interesting.

From the Iron Springs website: “This double IPA has twice the hops and grains as its counterpart. Significant floral, citrus, and peppery notes on the nose, yet even with the enormous hop profile, the huge grain bill results in a very well balanced brew.”

ABV: 9.0%
OG: 1.079
Malt: Pale, Maris Otter, Wheat, Victory, & CaraPils
Hops: Amarillo, Summit, Simcoe, & Cascade


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