Tasting Impressions: Sim/arillo IPA

The ‘single malt’ IPA, hopped with Simcoe and Amarillo, that we brewed slightly over a month ago, has now been in the keg for around three weeks. This means it’s time to write up some tasting notes of the beer, while its still at its prime. Quite a lot of trub ended up in the fermenter as we transferred from the boil kettle, and it seems to have had a positive effect on the clarity of the beer. It was crystal-clear when transferred to the keg, despite using US-05 and no cold crash, and only had the slightest chill haze when served. It looks cloudier in the picture below, because of condensation on the outside of the glass. Anyways, to the tasting notes!


The beer pours with a golden color with slight hints of orange. It is surprisingly dark for a malt bill of only Maris Otter. As mentioned, there is a slight amount of chill haze, that disappears as the beer warms up in the glass. A white, oily foam head is formed during the pour, and it collapses slowly leaving drapes of lacing along the glass. A really nice, and very typical, appearance for an IPA.

The beer is really exploding with hop aroma, and it just jumps to your face out of the glass as you close in. There are tones of citrus (specifically grapefruit), pineapple, pine resin and floral perfume. A really nice and fresh hop aroma, that is really hard to find from commercial beers (at least here in Finland, when the time from bottling to serving can be several months). Not much other hops in the aroma, which is the way I like it for IPAs.

The flavor is mostly hop-dominated as well, with very little presence of any malt or yeast tones. The flavor begins with hints of biscuits and malts, but these are instantaneously overtaken by a resiny hoppiness. While the aroma was very fruity, the flavor draws more towards the resiny, piney, earthy and grassy part of the spectrum. There are slight tones of grapefruit in the background as well, but these are more subtle than what could be found in the aroma. The flavor finishes dry and with a hefty bitterness that suits the style. The mouthfeel is dry and light, and the carbonation level is medium-low, which I think suits the beer well. A typical West Coast IPA, with a flavor that is solely focused on the hops and that finishes dry and bitter. Even though the aroma was amazingly fruity, I wish the beer had slightly more of those tones in the flavor as well. Otherwise a really nice homebrew!

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