Evidence Belgian IPA Tasting Notes

 20140807-130708-47228777.jpgOriginal Post: Evidence
Style: Belgian IPA
Brew Date: May 27, 2014
Tasting Date: August 7, 2012
ABV: 8.6%

This beer is very nicely carbonated and pours clear with a fluffy white head. The color is deep gold, not quite copper. It is actually lighter than I’d expect with the amount of Munich malt in it, but since it was made with second runnings, I’m not sure how that changes. The head is still lasting as I’ve sat here and written all this, along with waving the beer around the light to check the color.

The aroma is initially fruity. I definitely get the Nelson Sauvin hops right away. They were only in the dry hop and they come through strong in the aroma. Taking a sip, I’m surprised how much the character shifts from those fruity Nelson hops over the dank, resinous Columbus hops.

There is a lot of pine in those Columbus hops and they take the lead, but the Nelson hops are still detectable. Behind both of them, there are hints of the fruity, spicy Saison yeast, but it is definitely playing second fiddle to the hops.

As the beer goes back, the yeast flavor does come through more in the back of the mouth. After swallowing, though an intense hop bitterness comes in.

This is really good. Even without the added flavor, I love how dry this yeast took this beer. Dryness is key in an IPA and the bitterness in the aftertaste is definitely elevated by how dry this beer is. This is an intense beer but the dryness keeps it drinkable. I still think it is more of a single serving beer, but I will have no problem finishing the bottle despite its intensity.

20140807-130709-47229099.jpgOkay, now that I’ve gotten all that out, I guess I should go back and explain what this beer is for anyone who hasn’t been following along the last few months. My ridiculous experiment, 2014 PROOF is an insanely high alcohol beer that I brewed with two separate mashes, one in my cooler mash tun and one as a BIAB in my kettle. After running off in the main mash tun, I sparged with the wort from the BIAB mash. This lead to a very high gravity wort, despite very low efficiency. After running off, I dumped the grains from the BIAB mash into the cooler, which was then filled close to the brim just with the grains. I then began running more sparge water through, very slowly by necessity of the ten gallon capacity. What I ended up with became the base for Evidence, PROOF big little brother. This is very high gravity for a second runnings beer. I fermented it with Saison yeast.

I added exclusively Columbus hops during the boil, then dry hopped with more Columbus. I planned to stop there, but upon tasting it, I found the dank to be too intense and decided I needed to add some Nelson Sauvin hops after taking out the Columbus dry hop to add some balancing fruity aromas.

Anyway, I ended up with about a case of this stuff after all was said and done. And now I wish I had a lot more. This is one of my favorite recent beers. It is intense. The gravity is on the upper end for a standard IPA, but the character is definitely more in line with Double IPAs.

LabelEvidence

I’m down to a couple sips, so I guess I should wrap this up. I would not normally use this much Munich Malt in an IPA, but it works fine here. There is honestly very little malt character discernible behind all the hops and yeast. If I was going to change anything, I would add more Nelson to balance it more equally between them and the Columbus. On the other hand, I think the Columbus definitely adds to the intensity (I keep coming back to that word) which is key for this beer.

The full process of making this is not easily repeatable, but a Double IPA with a ton of Columbus hops, dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin and fermented with Saison yeast will get something close and it is an idea I will be kicking around for a future brew.

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