4.4% ABV, 50 IBU, single hop session IPA brewed with Bravo hops and pils, dark Munich, Cara-Pils, Cara-stan, and Maris Otter Malts.
Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Lexington, VA
By Bill Lau
Posted August 30, 2015
It’s always a treat to try something I can’t normally find where I live. This beer made its way to me through the kindness of a co-worker who traveled to Virginia not long ago and brought back some of the local beer. (He knows of my fondness for hops and session IPAs…not that these are exactly secrets, by any means!)
Cans do travel well; they take up minimal space, are not prone to breakage, and protect their contents nicely. And really, who couldn’t find room in their vehicle for a 6-pack or two of canned craft beer? Point is, this made the trip back by car just fine, thank you.
Appearance (4.5/5): Pours out a beautiful, bright & clear golden yellow hue capped with a finely beaded head of white foam that starts out over a quarter inch thick and slowly subsides to a thin, covering layer. Leaves behind some partial foam rings and small patches.
Aroma (7.5/10): Crisp, fresh grainy malt with a restrained, fruity-floral hop note.
Palate (3/5): Body starts on the lighter side of medium with a very finely beaded carbonation fizziness. Seems a little thin in the finish, though, even for a session ale.
Taste (8/10): Starts out with fresh, grainy malt and a pretty solid bitterness. Tangy citrus & tropical fruit notes join in and build through a crescendo of hop flavors and bittering. The finish brings out some resiny, sticky hop character. Faked me out at the beginning, expecting up front hoppiness and getting that malty profile instead, but it delivered in the end. And the initial malt is really quite tasty. The flavors seem to build with each successive sip, yet never overwhelm.
Overall (15.3/20): Munich malt is not something you typically find in an IPA, let alone session version, but the combination of malts in this beer tastes great. I really enjoyed the higher perceived bitterness combined with the hop flavors and lingering finish. Wish I had another! (And thanks, Bill P.!)
Disclosure: The author has received no reimbursement or compensation for this article. All opinions and remarks are those of the author alone.