Saturday, 7 November 2009

Great Divide Titan IPA, 6.8%

Ok, so I'm a member over at where the emphasis is on short, to-the-point summarised opinions on the beer I drink. It acts as a great way for me to keep track of what I've tried and what I thought of it, as well as helping me ascertain other raters' views before seeking something out. That's all well and good, but sometimes a beer is just that damned good (or bad) and needs more than fifty words description. Tonight was one of those nights.

Off the back of some fairly ordinary brown bitters at my local 'spoons, I wanted to spice my week up with something a bit more exciting. Something that would make my tongue quiver with its eager-to-please undulations of flavour and intensity. Something that would make my tongue submit to its passionate all-consuming... I'll stop there before this turns from a beer blog to a lurid take on a man's struggle with objectophilia.

With this in mind, I turned to Great Divide's Titan IPA for some solace. It's been sitting back, catching some rays, "chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool and shooting some b-ball outside of the school" for a while now, so I thought it about time to start makin' some trouble in the neighbourhood.

I believe I bought it on my last visit to Beers of Europe (towards the back-end of summer), which means it's getting on a bit for an IPA (BBF 11/04/10). With winter rapidly approaching I'll likely be feeling less and less inclined to pop the top of an IPA. Time to get my 'drink on' ASAP then, I thought, before it became a malty shadow of its former self.

Blurb: Titan IPA is a big, aggressively hopped India Pale Ale brewed for hop disciples. It starts out with piney hop aromas and citrus flavours, and finishes with a nice rich, malty sweetness that is balanced with a crisp hop bitterness.

Sounds great! Let's dig in.

[switch to present tense for ease of description]On cracking the cap there's an instant smack of hops straight to the nose. Pours a clear, bright and bubbly golden amber with a half-finger white head. In typical IPA fashion, the head soon reduces to a fine layer of scattered carbonation with a very loose and irregular lacing.

Remember that aroma I mentioned earlier? (Not that you're likely to forget in the space of a few lines, but this is a beer blog). Well, on closer inspection there's grapefruit and an upfront woody, pine note. It has some toffee malt sweetness, but it's almost totally eclipsed by this dominant oily hop overtone.

In terms of flavour, it's of the same mould: grapefruit hops; lemon; orange peel; before progressing to a delicate bready, toasty malt undertone. It's 6.8% so it doesn't punish the palate (or the liver), but rather ties it up in silk and treads on it with high heels, rather than ball gagging it and lashing it with cow's hide, (it's all good, it just depends what you're in the mood for, there are no judges here) like a BrewDog Hardcore for example.

Let's face it, it's called Titan IPA. It doesn't fool around, it's not meant to. It's one-track minded but the guys at Great Divide have managed to subdue it just enough and bottle it thus.

Turns out the preamble is longer than the actual review but like this beer, some things just have to get down to the nitty gritty.

[/end present tense]

Post scriptum. I'm not one for beer/food pairings, but this goes quite nicely with a mature cheddar. I only happen to impart this to you since I was chomping on a block while writing this. Student life's great, ain't it?

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