Commercial description: India Pale Ale brewed with Ginger and Pine Needles.
Pours a light amber/honey that is fairly cloudy. A massive three-finger off-white foamy head with great retention and a crazy amount of sticky lacing. There is a dense rocky island in the middle of my snifter.
Relatively mild, floral hop aroma, particularly for this style. Malty notes of caramel, sweet toffee, and bready crusts help balance a zippy hop profile comprised of light pine, grapefruit rind, and slight tropical fruitiness. A whiff or ginger and alcohol at the end.
Follows the nose a great deal. Oily, piney hops are assertive and bitter, but there are some sweet fruity notes coming through, with green apple, orange, and grapefruit being detected. More malt balance than the average hop bomb, with sweet caramel malt, toffee, light nutty notes, and some toasty flavors too. Bitter like a DIPA but balanced like an APA. As it warms the pine is very strong in the aftertaste but is tempered a bit by the sweetness. It has an interesting transition from bitter to sweet to bitter again. Not as much ginger as in the nose, just a hint in the aftertaste.
Nice carbonation, with a smooth feel to it. Light to medium bodied, and not too thick or hot like some DIPAs tend to be. A nice, easy drinking mouthfeel that compliments the balanced profile really well.
OVERALL IMPRESSION (9/10)
Overall this is a well-hopped IPA that offers up the subtle hints you’d expect from the name. The holidays portrayed with a gingerbread cookie-like sweetness and hints of pine. An aggressively hopped DIPA with some nice complexities but it doesn’t ruin you as some of the genre do
FINAL SCORE (46/50)