Since I had written up my review of Seven Brides Brewing a week ago, it occurred to me that I also have tasting notes for one of their beers—Frankenlou’s IPA. I had written a short note on the brewery review:
Fruity and a touch of apricot which is a nice touch (it reminds me of Boneyard Beer’s Zwickelmania IPA sample after only 1 day of fermentation). Imperial IPA character with nice tropical fruit notes.
But earlier this year I had picked up a bottle to try so I can write up a more comprehensive review. Looking over those notes now, it’s apparent I liked the draft version better than the bottled (though the bottled version isn’t bad), but then very often draft (fresh) is better than bottled in most cases.
Frankenlou’s IPA is their first IPA, and they wanted to make a “hop monster” (hence the play on the name); it turned out to be 7% alcohol by volume and a whopping 105 IBUs (calculated).
Appearance: Clear, brown-copper color, tan head that has a tint of orange to it.
Smell: Some green hop character, and lots of crystal malts giving it a sweet toffee nose.
Taste: Big earthy bitterness that’s woody and grassy, and drowns out the other characters (malts)—it’s not 105 IBUs though, not really. [Often what’s calculated doesn’t match actual levels, particularly with high amounts of hops and alcohol.] A bit muddled, I can’t distinguish what hops are in here except to say “earthy” ones.
Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full bodied, with a chewy feel to it (Imperial IPA-ish).
Overall: I suspect hopheads will like this beer, but I’d look for a cleaner handling of the hops myself. Drinkable!