Nose: Piney, citrus hints, earthy.
Mouth: Medium body, unfiltered. Starts with a piney, citrusy zing, finishes with a 50/50 blend of malt and hops. After taste is hoppy and malty as well, hints of chocolate, caramel, grapefruit and maybe licorice? There’s something else there that’s hard to put your finger on.
Rock Art is a craft brewer out of Vermont. They, like most craft brewers have a few good beers, a few not so good beers and a few great beers. This is one of their great beers. It was surprising. It’s not like any other IPA I’ve had. Mainly because, well, it’s balanced and balanced very well. It has a profound hop character but the hops are blended and unlike other IPAs that just throw fist fulls of the most bitter hops they can find at the brew, this has a variety that complements each other very well. Add to that the maltiness hidden behind it that pops out as soon as the hops have had their fun and this ends up being a pleasant surprise for the senses!
It’s fizzy too which, compliments this well. As all that fizz dissipates, it helps bring out the character of the beer that may otherwise be hidden. It also makes you burp a bit which brings back a dry, licorice taste that honestly, I found myself looking forward to!
Lots of people I know swear that IPA’s are summer brews meant for warm weather. Honestly, I think they can be overwhelming and I prefer pilsners, pale lagers and golden ales for summer time. IPA’s, that’s an autumn brew. They are usually brisk and pack a flavor punch. They are warming at the same time because they are usually dry. To me, that’s a brew for a brisk day, not a sweltering miserable August summer night.
This Rock Art IPA though, unlike other IPA’s that hop heads just love because of a pucker factor that goes to 11, this one is an easy drinker. It’s smooth, balanced and finishes clean. Even though it has the unfiltered characteristic to it. I can easily kill a 6 pack of this in one sitting. So as an IPA, I’m giving it high marks for not falling into the IPA trap. The brewers used restraint and it works out great! So if you want an IPA that isn’t going to rip through your stomach, this is it.
As a beer, again, this gets high marks. It’s a simple brew yet amazingly complex. It has the color, the depth, holds an impressive and fragrant head that is so lovely it makes you want to tip the glass down your gullet immediately. If you do, the lacing left behind could double as your grandmother’s end table doilies. As a beer, this brew has it in droves! The people who invented beer would be proud of this one!
I gave it a 10/10 ’cause, well, it’s a good beer. I can nitpick it all I want and I’m finding it hard to find a blemish. I mean, maybe the label could be a bit less green, I dunno? The font for the name is a little much, maybe? Who cares though? As soon as you pop that top and pour yourself a tall frosty one nothing else matters!
I like this brew. I like it a whole bunch. You should try it. If you can’t find it, tell me and I’ll go get more, light a fire in the firepit and you can come over and hang out. I’ll get you your own sixer ’cause if you try to touch any of mine, I’ll have to cut ya and nobody wants that, do we?