Monday, October 7, 2013

Grasslands Big Cypress IPA (Batch #1)

This is a recurring monthly series in which I taste and share my thoughts on a different beer from Grasslands Brewing Co. as they progress on their journey to open their doors to thirsty craft beer lovers (2014).  Grasslands is an up-and-coming brewery out of Tallahassee, Fl. that centers their philosophy on making quality "earth first ales." I will taste pilot batches and share my thoughts with the BeerApostle community. You can read past posts about Grasslands beer in thearchive section of this blog. 

Brewery:  Grasslands Brewery
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Style: IPA
ABV: 7.5%

This is the first of two reviews I will be posting for Grasslands' Big Cypress IPA. This is Batch #1. According to Owner Gabe Grass, the intent with Big Cypress IPA is to brew a "unique and compelling IPA"  using East and West Coast influences to create a "smack-you-in-the-face IPA."  What an exciting and fun way to describe this beer and it only increased my excitement for trying it!

Grasslands has experimented with a couple variations of the recipe and were gracious enough to send me Batches #1 and #4. Tomorrow, I will be posting my review of #4 and will synthesize my notes from both tastings to give an overall recommendation on which of the two I prefer and why. This is an exciting two-part review, so check back tomorrow to see how Batch #4 compares and which comes out on top!

Now, let's check out Big Cypress IPA Batch #1 and see how it is!

Appearance: Cloudy tangerine color with a fairly serious head that sticks around, creating a nice lacing down the glass. The carbonation is visible and mobile at the base of the head (as seen in the picture below).

Aroma: Fresh hops and pine. There's also a nice sweetness that I can smell, but I can't exactly pinpoint what it might be. Malt and caramel? Either way, this is one of the best-smelling IPAs I have had. Very floral and fresh.

Taste: This IPA starts off with a sweet malt base and quickly moves on the palate towards a piney finish that bursts with hops, pine, and citrus notes. The presence of sugars right away brings a well-balanced flavor that moves nicely from malt to hops. Despite the piney finish, this beer isn't bitter at all. In fact, it's quite clean and leaves a pleasant, but minimal, aftertaste. This is a crisp IPA that has a palate-cleansing effect.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the lighter side, mostly due to how much carbonation there is. The IPA cuts across the tongue easily, rendering a clean, crisp, and zesty product.

Overall: This is a great brew! The taste was great, and as I mentioned earlier, the aroma was wonderful and added to the drinking experience.. The hops were so aromatic and pleasing that they brought a really nice contrast to the malt sweetness that first hits the palate. This is a well-constructed beer. Gabe Grass has done it again!

Don't forget to check my post tomorrow to read about Grassland's Batch #4 for this Big Cypress IPA.  

Interested in becoming a Grasshopper?

If you're interested in getting your hands on any of Grasslands' brews before they open, register for their Grasshoppers Club which is your ticket in to getting exclusive releases from the brewery before they open. As a Grasshopper, you'll be eligible to enter the monthly lottery drawings to sample beer and provide critical feedback that may contribute to the final product. You can also check out Grasslands on Twitter and Facebook for more information.



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