Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Brutal Truth - Timmay's Imperial Belgian IPA (Don't count the Belgian part!)

Here it is, another installment, guaranteed to break hearts of home-brewers everywhere. Dig this:

Our latest victim, Timmay's Belgian inspired Imperial IPA, which he told me to disregard the Belgian part of. Something about it not turning out quite Belgian'y or something? I forget. Whatever! Let's begin.

Aroma: A mild fruitiness, some notes of peach, and a very faint sweet smell.. per guidelines, I'm looking for an "intense hop aroma" that I'm not finding here. Hop aroma should be in an Imperial IPA. No hot alcohols, and no off-aromas found. With a label like Imperial IPA, I'm missing something.. perhaps we'll find it in the flavor? Let's keep looking. It simply needs more aroma hops to compete better here. For now, 5/12

Appearance: Looks like a million bucks! I mean, look at the head on that damn thing. Fluffy, tight bubbles, persistent. Looks great to me, although it's supposed to be clear. As such.. 2/3.

Flavor: Ah! There's something! Even has a flavor of Peach! Very interesting. I get a big malt flavor, with not as much hop as I'd like in this style.. but.. It has a really intriguing fruity flavor, and enough bitterness minus the hop flavor, to carry it. Just barely. I think I could use either a *bit* more bittering hops, or a more dried out beer, to bring a sense of less body and midrange and emphasize the taste of the hops and yeast derived flavors.  It's pretty drinkable for a bigger beer (how big is this, anyway? I have no idea.. I wasn't told and it ain't on the label.. we'll assume it's 7%+ or I'd hesitate to call it Imperial, but who knows?) However, bottom line is, it's not packing enough hops (al la Pliney or Ruination) to compete well in this ballpark.. 12/20

Mouthfeel: Nothing to complain about here, just smooth, well carbonated goodness. Well done in that respect. No alcoholic warmth from what we assume is a bigger beer, just very drinkable beer. 5/5

Overall Impression: This one is a mixed bag. It's got just enough bitterness to carry the beer, but not enough hops to be a DIPA. It's clean, moderately malty, yet very drinkable. It's got some punch to it (I feel it creeping in on me now..) but invites sip after sip. A funny peach-ish flavor seems to seem in everywhere I look, but with the name "Belgian" on it, I'm interested in how that plays out. This one is hard to put a finger on, but.. for the style, it misses out on a few important key points, but still impresses. It's a well made brew, with an easily rectified (on the next iteration) issue, that being "more hops".  I'm gonna give it 7/10 in this box.

Total: 31/50

Summary, it creeps into the "Very Good" scoring guide per BJCP style sheets.. I think because it has some curious strong points, like the killer flavor aspect and easy drinkability, but misses the mark on hops. If this is the beer Timmay sent to the Ohio comp, I'm curious to see how it fared there.. just a few more days will tell. Good job, Tim. Add a few more ounces next time and this one will be out of the park!


  1. Thanks Mike. We'll see what the judges think on Saturday!

  2. Well done, Tim! Good luck in the comp.
    Mike, did you not like my Japanese Beatle comment?

  3. I don't see a Japanese Beetle comment Paul.. where?? What? Help a brother out!