Sam dams Odyssey part 3:
Once again, I'm worried about this one. Not because I think its going to suck...ohh no, its because I really want to try it! I love the idea of a white IPA, and if Sam Adams can do something proper, its an IPA. I also like the rest of the beers in this collection (hopology), so yea, I do have expectations about this one..........very different from the first two I reviewed.
But who cares. Lets just jump into this one! Afterwords Ill write a bit on white IPA (the inspiration for this beer), with my information being taken from the book “IPA”, by Mitch Steele.
- Sam Adams
- whitewater IPA
- Style: American IPA, 5.8%
- rating: ratebeer (89\100), beer advocate (80\100)
- personal review: BA style
- appearance: You can clearly see the inspiration for this beer: it has a very present cloudiness to it that at a first glance would make you believe that it is a wit. When poured it had a very small head, but that rapidly disappeared. Despite that, it still looks great in my Scottish glass. 4.25\5
- aroma: This is where the beer really shines. It has a lot of apricot and floral\fruity hop aroma. Not much spice that I can tell, but it really smells amazing. Full points. 5\5
- taste: wow, this one really shoots for the hops. It flavors can be described as being very hoppy neutral bitterness. Very resinous and piney, with some bitter orange flavors thought the entire beer. It does start off as being somewhat sweet, but the hops really make you forget that. That's the main problem I had with the beer. Its hops covers up a lot of the witbier character that the beer might had had. I like it, but its not what I wanted. 3.5\5
- mouthfeel: This beer has a nice smooth mouthfeel, with just the right amount of carbonation. I like it a lot. 4.5\5
- overall: In some ways, this is a great beer......but it really missed the point. The point of a white ipa is to blend the flavors of a wit with that of an IPA. This one pushed the hops too hard, and it just came off as an American IPA instead of a white one. Still, its great American ipa! A good choice that will really surprise people who have no respect for SA. I give this one a 3.75\5 overall. If your looking for a beer with a unexpectedly large amount of hops, look no further.
- Final review: BA(3.99\5), personal (84\100)
- Its no White IPA, but it is a cool American one. Good from start to finish. Will have again.
Style in Focus: white IPA
This beer may not be a so called “White IPA” (even if it did get the appearance and aroma correct), but what exactly is a white IPA? It's a style so new that its not even in the Encyclopedia of beer, and I had to find it in a new beer “IPA”, by Mitch Steele (which is a great read for anyone who wants to learn more about all IPA's). A very new style, in fact the newest style in the book, it has its origin with a collaboration brew. In 2011 Deschutes and Boulevard brewing companies worked together to form this style in two separate attempts. The stye is made by fusing the IPA style with that of the Belgian Witbier. The beer was made like a traditional wit except it was made stronger (7.4% abv) and aggressively hopped like an American IPA. Since then many breweries have made their own versions, some vouching for traditional wit ingredients and others going for more exotic ingredients like peppercorns, kumquats, and Brettanomyces fermentation (among other things).
The main things that most people can agree on the type of hops that they use. They favor citrusy and fruity hop varieties to play off the Belgian yeast character and spices. That is primarily why whitewater IPA is not a white IPA. Its hopping is too harsh and forward: it covers up too much of its Belgian character and spice (which mostly defines the beers aroma vs its taste). Hops used for white IPA's include Cascade, Centenial, Citra, and Galaxy.