Wednesday, April 7, 2010

IPAs — Sierra Nevada vs. Scuttlebutt

Sierra Nevada Torpedo
Extra IPA

ABV 7.2%, IBU 65

Clear amber orange with brisk carbonation.
Pine needle jolly rancher (maybe they should make that flavor?).
Sweet maltiness, followed by piney hop bitterness.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Malty with a sharp and sweet hop bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):

Scuttlebutt Gale Force IPA
ABV 5.25%, IBU 96

Cloudy amber orange with noticeably less carbonation.
Aroma: Sweet malt, citrus and earthy grain.
Flavor: Starts sweet and toasty then moves to a nice balanced citrus hoppiness. Very smooth, almost creamy.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Hoppy
Finish: Tart acidic hop bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Good

Winner by unanimous decision
: Sierra Nevada. This was a hard one. Both are very solid IPAs. The edge went to the Torpedo for its smooth mouthfeel and great balance of sweet malt to temper the aggressive piney hops. We got more of the citrus and floral hop qualities from the Gale Force, but it finished just a bit too bitter for our tastes. We were very surprised to see that the Scuttlebutt was packing 96 IPAs — they really integrated the hops well, because it was not overwhelmingly bitter at all. Also, big props to the Scuttlebutt for clocking in at a sessionable 5.25% ABV. Both are worthy of your fridge. Keep the Gale Force up front for daily consumption and the Torpedo in the back for those trying days when a bit more alcohol is exactly what you need to wind down.

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