After much deliberation and a bit of discussion with a fine gent who’s working on publishing a beer magazine in July, I finally settle on Great Divide‘s Rumble, because the description-an IPA aged in oak barrels-interests me.
This beer is quite woody. The oak is present to the point where not only is there a kind of astringent dryness at the end, but a slightly dirty barky flavor too. The mouthfeel is a bit thicker than an regular IPA and, though I’m not sure if the picture shows it, this beer is quite a bit cloudier than I would expect and IPA to be, at least from a professional.
It’s solid but I am not sure I would want more than the smaller glass I got. Even as this IPA has warmed up, the malt notes that might have balanced out the pine of the hops or smoothed out the oak qualities just refuse to come out to play.
This quality has led to a brief discussion about the ‘feel’ of a beer and how that comes about and affects taste. As far as I know (warning: Incomplete Knowledge coming) this is a function of yeast and malt, and how much of the malt sugars are eaten by the yeasts.
At this point something interesting happens: we are gleefully roped into a conversation about overpopulation and how to control it, which leads to a discussion about the nature and value of work-with the guy whom I’d spoken to about beer earlier, and his guest.
That is some heady stuff. It’s also why we come to the pubs, I think. There’s a kind of conversation that only happens when you’re outside of the norms of the house. I dig that, because it’s a chance to learn something and that’s always a good opportunity.