Friday, September 27, 2013

Beer of the Week (Vol. CLXXXV)

Another edition of Beer of the Week sponsored as always by the optimistic folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help you find the wine, whiskey, and beer you need to make sure your glass is half full.

The other night I had a chance to attend a beer tasting which was sponsored in part by Spiegelau, which is owned by renowned wine glass company Riedel and produces some of the best beer glasses that money can buy. The main message of the event was that in order to bring out the best in a beer you need to use the right glass. While I was aware that proper glassware was important, I never realized just how much it mattered until we did side by comparisons with lagers, wheat beers, IPAs, and stouts in glasses designed for each particular style and in a standard beer glass. The differences in appearance, aroma, and taste were striking and in some cases it was almost like you were drinking an entirely different beer.

Three key takeaways from the tasting comparison:

1. Never drink out of the bottle or can
2. Use a proper glass for the beer
3. ALWAYS rinse out the glass before you pour the beer

By far the most unusual glass that we tried was the 19 Ounce IPA Glass. This glass was designed in collaboration with Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada, two guys who know a thing or two about tasty IPAs. Its shape is a little unusual, but trust me it brings out the best in the style.

And it would the best way to enjoy the latest in Summit Brewing’s Unchained Series, Batch 13 Another IPA:

The Summit Unchained Series gives our brewers the freedom to make any brew they can dream up. So for Batch 13, what does brewer Mike Lundell choose? Another IPA. No really, that’s the name. With herbal hops, nutty malt flavor, a fruity nose, and a nice, subtle complexity. So why order another IPA when you can have Another IPA?

Six twelve-ounce stubby brown bottles sell for $8.99. Standard Unchained Series label design with industrial feel.

STYLE: English IPA


COLOR (0-2): Light gold color with a touch of cloudiness. 2

AROMA (0-2): Floral hops with a hint of honey. 2

HEAD (0-2): Bright white color, decent volume, and good lacing. 2

TASTE (0-5): Sharp floral hops with lighter citrus flavors and bready malts. The finish is crisp with a bitter edge. The mouthfeel is on the thin side and the body is medium. Pretty drinkable. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Pleasant and lasting. 2

OVERALL (0-6): This is definitely not another IPA. Less hopped up than many IPAs, its closer to the British version of the style than its usually more aggressive American cousin. It’s a tasty, refreshing, and even unique interpretation of the style. Pick up a six-pack and pour a few tonight. In the right glass of course. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 15