Thornbridge Jaipur India Pale Ale

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JeffPorter
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Postby JeffPorter » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:40 pm

I have to agree that before I tried it, I was expecting a dark golden hop bomb, and that's not what this is, so I can see why people are arguing it's hard to call it an IPA - it's not like Red Racer, Curmudgeon, any of the IPAs that I've tried. Not really British, not really American, straw coloured, the abv is low for an IPA, but high for a PA. (We wouldn't, for example, call Liberty Ale an IPA) I will say this though, it does remind me of some of the Durham casks.

It's a very organized beer. All the flavours are just clean and in their right places. Nothing is "muddled" about this beer, so I quite like it - am I going to buy a lot of it, though? I'm not sure - I wish I wouldn't have read so much about it, because I felt like I psyched myself up too much.
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Postby cratez » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:41 pm

G.M. Gillman wrote:I just tasted this. The best-by date is in July upcoming, which suggests it is about 8 months old, i.e., assuming the dates are picked on a one-year-from-bottling system.

The beer tastes very fresh, which I attribute to the bottle-conditioning.

I had this on cask in Leicester Square, London, just over one year ago.

And this bottled version tastes just like that one did, which to me is classic APA. I don't get anything English in it, it tastes like many quality APAs I have had in my time, in other words with a U.S. West Coast hop signature. If there is English hops in this I'd be very surprised indeed.

It's very well made, but not the kind of thing I'd look to England for, generally speaking.

Gary


Outside of the grapefruit, I don't get any APA notes at all. No pine, orange rind, tropical fruit or bold zesty-citric notes. Only US pale I've had that even remotely resembles Jaipur is Bell's, and it drinks more like a blonde ale. I think Matt's observation that Jaipur has some English blonde elements (yellow hue, lemony-soapy-grapefruity hops) is correct, but the other traits remind me of standard Brit IPAs like Sam Smith, Fullers, and Meantime. It's slightly more intense than those examples but nowhere near US IPA/APA territory. My two cents, anyway.
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Postby JeffPorter » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:57 pm

cratez wrote: I think Matt's observation that Jaipur has some English blonde elements (yellow hue, lemony-soapy-grapefruity hops) is correct, but the other traits remind me of standard Brit IPAs like Sam Smith, Fullers, and Meantime. It's slightly more intense than those examples but nowhere near US IPA/APA territory. My two cents, anyway.


I just opened one right now, and came down to amend my post, but I think that's spot on - (I did just have something sweet, mind you) but I find there's an intense, grassy, bitterness.

I think it's the appearance that's throwing us off - it looks like a weiss beer. This is only my second one, but I think you need to have this beer a couple of times before we pass judgement, in order to get over the initial shock of the weiss-like appearance.
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Postby G.M. Gillman » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:03 pm

I don't know guys, I've had a lot of grapefruity paleish APAs, colour always varies to a degree but that part seemed unexceptional.

I had a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale last week and this seemed very much in that style (or say the original Grant's India Pale Ale, that Bert Grant made in the 80's).

Anyway it's a good beer, well-made and well-packaged, that's the important part.

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Postby JeffPorter » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:59 pm

G.M. Gillman wrote:Anyway it's a good beer, well-made and well-packaged, that's the important part.

Gary


Agreed. And despite the July BB date, I can see this one tasting fresh for quite some time...It does have an "out of the cask" taste.
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Postby G.M. Gillman » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:02 pm

It's just like the cask in London, Jeff, real ale in a bottle indeed!

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Postby phat matt » Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:37 pm

Beer styles aside, I think this is a great beer. I drink alot of west coast hopped beers, so its nice to drink a balanced english ale. I will be buying a few more of these. I just wish it was it was cheaper, and could session this all summer long.
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Postby cratez » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:34 pm

Just to further confuse things:

The 5.9% ABV and 50 IBUs are well within the English IPA guidelines, the beer conforms to most of the BJCP style descriptors, and nearly all of Jaipur's awards are in the "Strong Bitter/IPA" category (according to the brewer's website).

BUT

This distributor claims the beer is brewed with strictly American hops (Ahtanum, Centennial, Warrior, and Chinook), which confirms Gary's hunch that it's meant to be an American-style pale/IPA.

Looking at the description provided, I get the candied lemon peel, soft and smooth palate, honey-like malts, grapefruit, and grassy-floral hops, but I'm not detecting any "sun-drenched tropical fruits," peaches, "fresh wood sap," or the massively hoppy and intense bitterness that they mention. I'm guessing this has to do with the dated bottles that we've received, but even with 8 months of age, I would expect a lot more pine and bold citrus character from the type of hops used.

Anyhow, I'm not trying to belabour the point since I don't believe any of us know the definitive classification, and it could be that Jaipur is a hybrid of sorts. But as a style nerd, these things interest the hell out of me. One thing's for sure: almost all of us agree on the beer's awesomeness.
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Postby G.M. Gillman » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:39 am

I would agree it is a hybrid, simply by being brewed in England. Whenever a beer is brewed in a country other than its place of origin (so to speak, since IPA is English to begin with), it usually takes something from the local scene. In this case it might be some subtle malt or yeast character which gives the impression of Englishness.

This is again my two cents, but the amount of hops (IBUs) relates more to pale ale vs. IPA whether American-style or English, but that is always a relative thing. All beers even of one style exhibit variation of hop intensity and flavour and you will never get a perfect classification.

One thing too I thought interesting was that Rate Beer states there were two versions of Jaipur IPA. One was an English hops version, which it says is now retired, so this suggests to me as well the current one is intended as APA or American IPA in style.

I must say my bottle showed a powerful hop presence, but we all have different tolerance levels for hops. There are some current APAs and IPAs I cannot drink due to the overwhelming hop levels!
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Postby TheSevenDuffs » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:19 pm

Just cracked this one and I am happy I only bought one.

I was hopeful for a nice EIPA/AIPA hybrid but I got no AIPA notes at all. The grapefruit and pine notes that have been mentioned here and in many of the BA reviews from Ontario folks over the past couple of weeks are non-existent to me.

I get grassy flavours and the faintest hint of lemon. Very typical English flavour profile IMO. Not a bad beer at all, just not my thing as I tend not to prefer English IPAs.
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Postby matt7215 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:23 pm

TheSevenDuffs wrote:Just cracked this one and I am happy I only bought one.

I was hopeful for a nice EIPA/AIPA hybrid but I got no AIPA notes at all. The grapefruit and pine notes that have been mentioned here and in many of the BA reviews from Ontario folks over the past couple of weeks are non-existent to me.

I get grassy flavours and the faintest hint of lemon. Very typical English flavour profile IMO. Not a bad beer at all, just not my thing as I tend not to prefer English IPAs.


^this^
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Postby TheSevenDuffs » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:27 pm

matt7215 wrote:
TheSevenDuffs wrote:Just cracked this one and I am happy I only bought one.

I was hopeful for a nice EIPA/AIPA hybrid but I got no AIPA notes at all. The grapefruit and pine notes that have been mentioned here and in many of the BA reviews from Ontario folks over the past couple of weeks are non-existent to me.

I get grassy flavours and the faintest hint of lemon. Very typical English flavour profile IMO. Not a bad beer at all, just not my thing as I tend not to prefer English IPAs.


^this^
The reviews over on BA make me wonder if the province of Ontario is aware of the difference between a lemon and a grapefruit. There was no grapefruit in here AT ALL. I absolutely love grapefruit and if it is there, I typically taste it. There is none here. At all. Period. (and perhaps I should end this post with "IMO").
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Postby cratez » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:10 pm

G.M. Gillman wrote: I would agree it is a hybrid, simply by being brewed in England. Whenever a beer is brewed in a country other than its place of origin (so to speak, since IPA is English to begin with), it usually takes something from the local scene. In this case it might be some subtle malt or yeast character which gives the impression of Englishness.

One thing too I thought interesting was that Rate Beer states there were two versions of Jaipur IPA. One was an English hops version, which it says is now retired, so this suggests to me as well the current one is intended as APA or American IPA in style.


Well I think I've figured out why many of us are getting English and Noble hop traits from this beer. The good old Oxford Companion to Beer says the Ahtanum hop is "an open-pollination cross among Brewer's Gold, Fuggle, East Kent Golding, and Bavarian aroma hops...It's aroma is floral (and) citrus with grassy notes." Plus Chinook and Warrior are known to have significant herbal and earthy qualities.

TheSevenDuffs wrote: The reviews over on BA make me wonder if the province of Ontario is aware of the difference between a lemon and a grapefruit. There was no grapefruit in here AT ALL. I absolutely love grapefruit and if it is there, I typically taste it. There is none here. At all. Period. (and perhaps I should end this post with "IMO").


It's not an amped up, in-your-face blast to the senses but I definitely get a balanced white grapefruit essence that is similar to what I've noticed in beers like Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted and Hopback Summer Lightning.
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Postby G.M. Gillman » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:33 pm

For me the white grapefruit definitely dominated.

The Harviestoun beer mentioned always had a mostly American character in my view again, and the Hopback too. So did one of the Caledonian's beers, the 80 I think, when I knew it in the U.K. some years back.

I think there is a point though where the constant development of cross-breeding and new hop types may result in a situation where it isn't possible any longer to say, this is English in character or this is American. We are on the road to that I think - probably have reached it with some beers - although I hope, just for tradition's sake, it will always be possible to differentiate between APA and English pale ale.

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