Hip Hop Hooray by Beer With Me Nano Brewery, IIPA (yeah right!), 7.5 % ABV, 145 IBU
Once again I rate one of my own creations, or to be exact, two of them. These beers are identical, but one of them, Batch 003 A, was dryhopped with Simcoe in the secondary for a week, while Batch 003 B didn’t receive this final dose of hops. The goal with this beer was to make an extremely hoppy IIPA, but I completely missed the OG and FG that I aimed for in my debut as a BIAB-brewer, so I’m not sure if this brew actually can be labelled an IIPA. See the brewlog for details.
The two beers pours a very hazy (but not as cloudy as I’d feared) body with a medium to light amber colour. It’s not anywhere near opaque, which I suspected would be the result of the treatment this brew got: after boiling the wort cooled in an airtight bucket until the next day, then I pitched the yeast. The head seems a bit bigger and slightly more creamy on the dry hopped version, although I’d still call it rather frothy. The head sticks around for some time and leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass.
The aroma of Batch 003 B is very strong and very nice indeed! It’s sweet and heavy fruity with lots of tropical notes like mango and peach. The dry hopped beer has an even more intense aroma that is less sweet and noticeably sharper with a stinging and close to grassy hop pellet feel. The fruity notes are a bit less noticable, although the mango and peach are still present. There is also some sweet strawberry notes and some very faint traces of alcohol. One of my test bunnies claimed she got some cat pee notes from the dry hopped beer, and I’ve got to agree: Hello Kitty! (I hereby trademark that name for an upcoming Simcoe single hop IPA!). The dry hopping certainly brings new elements to the aroma, but I think I was a bit too generous: 17 g hops in in an 8 L batch is too much, I’ll half the amount the next time.
The taste is light sweet and the long-lasting finish is incredibly bitter. The bitterness is stinging and almost a bit harsh, but I like it, and it’s exactly what I was after, apart from the fact that this is by no means an IIPA. There is far too little sweetness and there are just faint traces of malty flavours. The hops are totally dominant, with strong fruity notes, grapefruit and resin. I’m not sure if the lack of maltiness is due to the excessive use of hops or that I put in too little Crystal and/or Vienna. The flavour profile is clean, without any diacetyl or other obvious flaws. The dry hopped beer is a bit crisper and more refreshing than Batch 003 B, and the bitterness feels even sharper.
The body isn’t exactly light, but it feels less full than what an IIPA should be like. For a regular IPA however, it’s quite all right. The texture is rather dry, and the combined with the mouthdrying bitter finish this is another element that doesn’t fit my picture of an IIPA. The carbonation is soft and pleasant.
Conclusion: wonderful and intense aroma and flavour. The taste is very bitter, a bit too violently bitter to be really pleasant, but still a very nice brew. But it’s absolutely not an IIPA.
Dry hopped version: Aroma: 7 Appearance: 3 Taste: 7 Palate: 2 Overall: 12 Ratebeer score: 3.1 No dry hopping: Aroma: 8 Appearance: 3 Taste: 7 Palate: 2 Overall: 12 Ratebeer score: 3.2