International IPA Day 2012: Troegs Perpetual IPA

BREWERY’S DESCRIPTION: In our constant evolution as a brewery, we’ve developed an undying drive to meld the organic and the mechanical. Perpetual IPA utilizes our hopback and dry-hopping to engineer a bold Imperial Pale Ale. Perpetual IPA is 7.5% ABV and 85 IBUs. It features Bravo, Chinook and Mt. Hood hops in the boil, Mt. Hood and Nugget hops in the hopback and Citra, Cascade and Nugget hops in dry-hopping.

“Straw in color and bittered with an abundance of citrus and spicy hops, Perpetual IPA is a tribute to building our new brewery and our desire to continue exploring,” says John Trogner.

On Thursday, August 2, 2012 craft beer drinkers all the over the world and especially in the US celebrated one of the most popular beer styles nowadays i.e. the India Pale Ale (IPA). As a self proclaimed “hop-head”, I was well prepared for this special day with a fresh (bottled 7/25/12) six pack of Troegs Brewing Company’s Perpetual IPA that I purchased one day prior at Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room in New York City.

Having not tried this beer since November 2011 I was excited to get it into my Troegs pint glass and get to analyzing its hop character. It poured slightly hazy straw in color with orange highlights and a 1.5 finger head. One interesting (somewhat significant) feature of this beer’s appearance was that on the label it says that the beer is “gently filtered to maintain some live yeast and fresh hop essence in every bottle”. From my observation the haziness that was there cleared up as I drank the beer, which would indicate minimal leftover yeast. However, this factor did not significantly diminish the great appearance of Perpetual IPA. Its resinous hops left behind plenty of sticky lacing behind as its head diminished.

From the aroma to the taste this beer was “West Coast” in its hop character and flavor profile. Meaning, upfront were big notes of grapefruit rind, sweet orange, and some tropical fruit. All of which were followed by dry biscuity malt character. Though one could think those flavors would lead to a resinous and quite bitter finish; as the beer washed over my palate its malt character intensified and blended with the hops which left a moderate dryness and nice spiciness on my palate. By intensified I mean that it ranged from being dry and biscuity to slightly caramel-like in nature, which helped it accent both the citrusy and spicy flavors from the hops.

In terms of overall mouthfeel and level of bitterness, Perpetual IPA had a smooth medium body with just the right amount of carbonation to heighten its bitterness as it hit my palate. As mentioned above, the bitterness did not leave a sticky or resinous bitterness on my palate, which definitely aided this beer’s drinkability. One final factor that excited me about this beer was its freshness. Meaning, when I first tried it back November 2011 its hop character had faded significantly and I was not able to enjoy or accurately assess its hop flavors and aromas. Now that I’ve tried it again, enjoyed it, and heard that it was added to Troegs Brewing Co.’s  year round line up. I will definitely be buying it on a regular basis. Rating: 8/10

Adventures Into The Mind of a Beer Geek: The popularity of hop forward (hoppy) beers nowadays brings to mind an interesting trend amongst those who have dedicated themselves to developing their beer palate by drinking craft beer. What I mean by this is that many popular beer styles nowadays represent extremes in flavor characteristics. As such, many craft beer drinkers quickly become “hop-heads” after acclimating their palates to hop bitterness. Falling on the other end of the flavor spectrum are the American and Russian Imperial Stouts, and in some cases other malt forward beer styles such as the porter (and its sub-styles). In this case those who have yet to drool over pungent hop flavor and bitterness can enjoy big dark chocolate and coffee flavors and those who seek another extreme in flavor can experience the potential of a strong malt character. However, I’d be remised if I didn’t mention a third extreme in flavor that has emerged over the past few years in the craft beer community. This third extreme includes various beer styles brought together in the genre known as “sour beers”. Fermented with wild yeast strains at times inoculated with souring bacteria; these beers hit the palate with funky and tart flavors that at first cause one to pucker. But as with hop forward beers, they eventually cause one’s mouth to water. In the case of my personal palate development I can definitely identify with this “extremes of the beer flavor spectrum” trend and have been trying hard to not allow other flavorful and important beer styles get lost in the midst of my seeking out the next great hoppy IPA, barrel aged Imperial Stout, or rare sour. In turn, my hope for both new and experienced craft beer drinkers is that beer styles in between these three extremes of flavor should never have their importance for palate development diminished. Cheers!

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About The Brewed Palate - Barry

NJ (formerly NYC) based home brewer and craft beer enthusiast sharing his brewing and imbibing adventures on thebrewedpalate.com. "Spreading the messages of craft beer one palate at a time."
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