Daily beer project

Beer #14: Squatters IPA

Posted in American Craft Beer, Squatters, Utah Beer by dailybeerproject on January 27, 2010

In addition to sampling a new beer, the IPA, tonight I also wanted to experiment to see if I could isolate the source of the bitter aftertaste that has plagued me throughout this project. To do this I alternately tasted the IPA and a Squatters Full Suspension Pale Ale. The Full Suspension, from what I’ve been told, is a pretty hoppy beer, yet it hasn’t tasted particularly bitter to me. It’s a low-alcohol beer, at 4% abv, while the IPA is 6%. I figured that if the IPA tastes bitter but the Full Suspension does not, it would help me isolate whether the bitterness is coming from hops or alcohol.

But first, my impression of the IPA: I really like the smell of hops. When I opened the bottle, the aroma was exceedingly pleasant. The essence of pine was the most prominent scent, which may not sound appealing in something you drink, but it somehow is, at least initially. The beer pours nicely with a thick, foamy head, twice as thick as the Full Suspension. The head lasted much longer–where the Full Suspension’s head dissipated within a minute or two, the head on the IPA remained more or less intact until it was gone.

The beer tasted good as well. The initial taste was similar to the aroma, but the flavor of the malt also came through the scent of the hops. Unfortunately, the bitter aftertaste was also quite prominent.

When sampled back-to-back with the Full Suspension, it was definitely more bitter. The problem is, I still can’t tell if the bitterness is coming from hops or alcohol. It was more bitter than the Sapporo, even though alcohol content was close (6.0% in the IPA versus 5.2% in the Sapporo). The Full Suspension was also bitter but still more enjoyable than the Sapporo–the aftertaste wasn’t as pronounced, even if Full Suspension was more bitter initially. Bottom line is I still don’t know for sure where the unpleasant bitterness is coming from. I suspect it has to do with both but perhaps more to do with the alcohol than the hops, given how much I’ve enjoyed 4% abv beers. But I really can’t tell. Perhaps I should try a 9% or more beer and see how I react to that.

The bitterness of the IPA seemed to build as I drank it, and by the end it was nearly all I could stand. The flavor of pine and the bitter aftertaste became just too much. The Full Suspension, meanwhile, remained pleasant throughout–the bitterness in the Full Suspension was much more enjoyable than that in the IPA.

Summary thoughts: regardless of where the bitter aftertaste is coming from, I am a total lightweight. I drank these two beers right after 30 minutes on the stationary bike, and let’s just say I could feel it by the end. Or halfway through for that matter. How pathetic is that?

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One Response

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  1. BKR registratie said, on January 31, 2010 at 9:18 am

    That was spot on! I could not have done that better at all haha. Hate to admit it though 😛


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