Friday, August 17, 2012

Better Bitters Brewing Company (Nickel Brook) - Headstock IPA

ABV 7.0% (Tall Boy 473ml)  IBU - 80

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The Summary
A boldly hopped, full bodied American style IPA. Headstock IPA is brewed primarily with nugget hops, which gives rise to a distinct hop flavor, bitterness and aroma. It also uses blend of classic European and North American malts to enhance the body and full flavour. No additives. No Preservatives. Naturally carbonated for a smooth, crisp finish.

The Pour
This brew pours creamy and thick for an IPA and is definitely on the darker end of the IPA spectrum, which probably speaks to the malts in use.  The colour is amber/pumpkin and quite cloudy with a little bit of that IPA "glow" that I've noticed in many Southern Tier offerings.  The carb is mild and slow to bubble and the 1 finger foamy head has good retention.  A very nice and surprising pour.

If you like hops this one is for you.  Very strong resinous, earthy, grassy hop aromas flew out as soon as I poured.  Lots and lots of hops, but nothing too surprising.

Medium bodied with some nice light foaming carbonation but there is so much hops it almost burns with flavours of pine and earth.  The hops hit big right away and carry all the way through giving this brew the mouth-feel of cough syrup.  The malts give some creaminess to the body and impart some decent balance there, but overall this is a very chewy/sticky, resinous IPA.

Overall Impressions
This is definitely a HOP BOMB.  There is a lot of competition in this field right now, and I think this brew is placing it's stake firmly in the heavily hopped zone like Tree Brewery's Hop Head IPA.  If you like tons of hops this is great, but I think an opportunity for more layers is lost when the hops are this strong.  This beer fits the heavily hopped style well, but is too hop heavy for me.

I give it a  B-.


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