I thought, since it’s absolutely scorching outside today, I would review an IPA. This bottle from Schlafly looked pretty enticing, so I figured…. why not?
From the website, schlafly.com, I found this somewhat lengthy description.
Our Export IPA (India Pale Ale) is a strong, heavily-hopped, British-style ale. This beer features a big malt backbone of 2-row and caramel malted barley. Export IPA has a high level of bitterness from English hop varietals: Pilgrim and East Kent Goldings, which lend a spicy lemon flavor. The English yeast strain adds a fruity component to the beer.
Export IPA’s were first brewed in England for British troops in India during the late 1700’s. To withstand the long voyage, regular pale ales were fortified with more malted barely, for a higher alcohol content, and extra hops, a natural preservative. Many believe this strong ale was then watered down for regular troops, while officers and the elite would enjoy the full strength brew. Today, most UK and American brewers recreate this style with alcohol content around 7% – 8% ABV.
Let’s try it.
This beer came in a 12 oz. bottle and the label stated the ABV to be 8.0%.
The Schlafly Special Release Export IPA poured a very nice orange color with burnt yellow highlights around the bottom. Quite a bit of sediment was floating around in the liquid, but otherwise it was mostly clear. A bright white head was formed that had decent size, retention and it left some pretty good lacing behind.
The aroma was a citric hop note of peach and grapefruit with maybe even a touch of pineapple and a light note of lemon. A minute grainy note hid behind the fruitiness and a caramel malt started light, but gradually gained a little momentum as it warmed. Overall though, the nose seemed to be a touch restrained. It was balanced pretty well however. Maybe just a touch tranquil.
The flavor provided the hops again, although I found them to be more on the “earthy” side rather than the normal, extreme, puckering bitterness that IPA’s seem to provide. Of the citrus flavors that were present, I thought the lemon was the most prominent. The grapefruit and pineapple were both there, but they were really subdued. Other savors of bread, a pinch of spice, sweet caramel malt and a slightly sour tinge were all balanced and harmonious with each other. Overall, it was clean and fresh to say the least.
The mouthfeel was medium and a bit dryer than most. It was clean, fresh, snappy, and crisp. It was somewhat refreshing and thirst quenching. Plenty of flavor coated the tongue and throat to satisfy me.
We’ve got a pretty good brew here. It wasn’t a particularly strong IPA as far as aroma and flavor go, but it still showed some positive and correct attributes. The lemon stood out more than others I’ve run across so far. With the higher ABV, one might not be able to have too many at one time, but a couple would probably do the trick. I would have this again, no problem. It seems that Schlafly makes well represented, correct styles of beer. At least the one’s I’ve tried so far have been. Pick it up and give a go if you see it. I thought the label was pretty cool looking too!!!!
Thanks for reading guys. I hope everyone is having a great day.
Score: 3.65 out of 5