My neighbor and I gave the hoppy pale ale a try last night. It has only been bottled for a week, so the carbonation is still a bit light, but my first impression is “WOW!” As you have probably inferred, my intent was to add IPA hoppyness to an APA malt bill. I think I succeeded. This is the best beer I have ever brewed – not bad for my first all-grain attempt. Here are the tasting notes:
Pours a cloudy dark yellow/light amber color with a small off-white head that faded quickly. Very citrusy and grapefruity in the nose. The first sip smacks you in the mouth with hop bitterness and that bitterness lingers into the finish accompanied by the grapefruit flavor from the Amarillo and Cascade combination. Overall, this beer is all about hops from beginning to end. I don’t think I would change a thing. As a matter of fact, I think I’ll enter this in the Dominion Cup competition at the end of the month. I am not deluded into thinking that I will win best of show or even my flight. I just want some feedback. My plan is to enter this in the IPA category (the 1.056 OG and 5.9% ABV just sneak within the BJCP guidelines). I expect to receive feedback that it is unbalanced – too hoppy for the malt bill. I also hope to get some constructive feedback that will help me refine my AG process. The Amarillo Sky name came about because I have to name it to enter it into competition and the song by Jason Aldean came on while we were drinking it.
Next up, I plan to finally brew the hoppy American wheat (Amarillo Wit, anyone?) in the next couple of weeks.