This week I picked up a howler of Dank IPA at the BBC in St Matthews, the oldest current brewery in the city (and state). I spoke with head brewer David Pierce about the beer. He said he was shooting for a balanced IPA with lots of hop aroma.
That evening I was able to try the IPA. It was a beautiful deep amber/copper color. The body was very bright and clear and the light tan head left specks of tight foam in the glass. This is a very pretty beer.
I have to say the smell was disappointing. I poured the beer while it was too cold and it had very little smell, just a bit if fresh damp grain. Not bad just disappointing.
But, Wow, what a difference a few minutes makes! The aroma completely blossomed as it warmed up a little. Night and day, or I should say not dank and then DANK!
I define “dank” in a beer as a pungent, earthy, marijuana, slight arm-pit smell, in a good way of course. Dank indeed, diggity dank. Additionally there were some hard candy or berry notes in the aroma.
The taste was as Mr. Pierce planned – balanced. I picked up pineyness with a good deal of stone fruit. There was a brawny maltiness at the beginning and a gently building bitterness in the citrus peel-like ending. Subtle points of candy and toffee flesh out the flavor. I did not get the tropical fruit cornucopia that I expected with the Citra hops but there were some lychee and nectarine hints there. The finish was semi-dry and it had an almost pill-like bitterness. In addition to the Citra hops the brewer used Centennial, Simcoe and dry hopped with Mosiac hops. He shared that the malts were Cara Gold and Rahr Pale. In some ways this beer reminds me of Founders Brewing Company’s ReDankulous DIPA, especially the aroma.
The mouthfeel of this beer was dense and creamy. However, the carbonation was a little lighter than I personally prefer. The ABV is 6.5% and the IBUs (International Bitterness Units) were 65. In the end I think Mr. Pierce achieved his goal of a balanced IPA with a very hoppy smell. I would almost coin it a Double American Pale Ale – a lot of malts and a lot of hops – but balanced.
Overall this is a beautiful beer to look at. The smell is big and funky and the taste offers a lot of complexity while remaining balanced and approachable.