Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits
San Diego, CA
A double-deuce of a West Coast IPA usually gets me pretty fired up anyway, but this comes highly recommended by (and courtesy of) a friend and fellow homebrewer.
From the get-go, it’s clear this beer is a bit different than many WCIPAs. It’s far lighter and less red than I expected. A pure white, crackling head builds quickly, settles, and sits comfortably at a quarter-inch or so. Fine, busy carbonation flies up the glass – the clarity is impeccable and only some faintly fulvous tinges keep this brew from resembling a pilsner or other light lager.
The aroma is sticky sweet with hops: bright orange and grapefruit with a background of pineapple, mango, and passion fruit.
The mouthfeel is very good and the fine carbonation dances across the palate with a cleansing step that preps a creamy wash of barely perceptible malt. The hops are slightly resinous and oily, but don’t strip the inside of your cheeks like some really sere IPAs. In fact, the harmony between the peal of the bittersweet citrus hops and the continuous tintinnabulation of effervescence is nothing short of masterly. The finish is ultimately crisp and dry, like a martini with a twist, but not puckering.
This is a hop-forward brew, to be sure, but it is not one of those huge saliva-sapping brews. This is a dangerously smooth and balanced 7% beer that is worth seeking out.