Belgium Style IPA's

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Swordsman
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Belgium Style IPA's

Postby Swordsman » Fri May 27, 2011 11:56 am

My wife was in BC lately and brought me back several beers to try that I can't get here. She always does this when she travels on business. She is good to me that way.

One that she brought back on this last trip was a Hoperation Tripel Cross Belgian IPA from Phillips Brewery in Victoria. It was the third beer I have had from that brewery and have loved them all. Phillips rocks!

I have been trying to define what exactly a Belgium IPA is. Now I noticed the Tripel Cross was very similar to an Urthel Hop-it. Based on that I would determine a Belgium IPA is light in colour than a regular IPA, is a little more yeasty in the middle and seems to have a different hop profile than a regular IPA.

I love IPA's, double or Imperial IPA's and now can add Belgium IPA's to that list
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markaberrant
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Postby markaberrant » Fri May 27, 2011 12:03 pm

I like America IPA's the best.
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Jon Walker
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Postby Jon Walker » Fri May 27, 2011 12:29 pm

Phillips is a great brewery but the Hoperation is not the best example of the style. Actually Belgian IPA's are not yet considered their own style. They can either be west coast IPA's that use a Belgian yeast or conversely Belgian ales that use west coast hops. Stone Cali-Belgique would be a great example of the prior, Chouffe Houblon would be a good example of the latter. Colour doesn't really have a lot to do with it since, as you sample more IPA's, you'll see that they range in colour from light yellow to almost copper or amber (and that's not including Black IPA's which is a whole different sub style). Hop profile is also not uniform since you can make an IPA using a wide variety of hops either on their own or several in tandem. The myriad of permutations is what makes the style so interesting.

So in short a Belgian IPA is pretty much guaranteed to have a Belgian style of yeast and some assertive hops and an IBU of over 50. Beyond that you will find the other factors vary according to the brewers craft.
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Derek
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Postby Derek » Fri May 27, 2011 12:43 pm

And the other oddball is Hopsinjoor. It's basically an agressively bitter, Belgian Strong Pale ale with a plethora of continental hops!
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markaberrant
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Postby markaberrant » Fri May 27, 2011 12:51 pm

Jon Walker wrote:Phillips is a great brewery


Somewhat off topic, but I just gave this some thought, and I have yet to taste a Phillips beer where I felt, "damn, this is great!" My usual assessment is, "ok, but nothing spectacular, not really worth seeking out."
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Postby Belgian » Fri May 27, 2011 12:55 pm

markaberrant wrote:I like America IPA's the best.


After all so hard to style a beer like a land mass.
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Jon Walker
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Postby Jon Walker » Fri May 27, 2011 1:12 pm

markaberrant wrote:
Jon Walker wrote:Phillips is a great brewery


Somewhat off topic, but I just gave this some thought, and I have yet to taste a Phillips beer where I felt, "damn, this is great!" My usual assessment is, "ok, but nothing spectacular, not really worth seeking out."


Yeah, that's a reasonable assessment. I have rated a few of their seasonals quite high but they have yet to release a beer that blows me away. However I do give them a lot of credit for having so many seasonals and so many IPA's and IIPA's (they've released at least 10 so far including the Hopbox which had four).
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Derek
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Postby Derek » Fri May 27, 2011 1:15 pm

markaberrant wrote:
Jon Walker wrote:Phillips is a great brewery


Somewhat off topic, but I just gave this some thought, and I have yet to taste a Phillips beer where I felt, "damn, this is great!" My usual assessment is, "ok, but nothing spectacular, not really worth seeking out."


They were pioneers, they're still quite good, and I enjoy their products regularly...

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/2675
Beer Avg: B+ / 3.76

But Driftwood & Howe Sound seem to be the new leaders on the West Coast (averaging over a 4.0), with Central City up there as well.
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markaberrant
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Postby markaberrant » Fri May 27, 2011 2:16 pm

Derek wrote:They were pioneers, they're still quite good, and I enjoy their products regularly...

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/2675
Beer Avg: B+ / 3.76


Looking at their BA beers rated A- or higher, I have tried the following:

Double Barrel Scotch - boring North American interpretation, missing all the complexity of the finer examples.
the Hammer - my bottle was heavily oxidized and beginning to sour.
Trainwreck - of the 2 bottles I have tried, both were pretty boring; lean, malt forward interpretation with little complexity or depth of flavour.

Skookum and Amnesiac are fairly high B+, but both are rather pedestrian in my opinion.
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Jon Walker
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Postby Jon Walker » Fri May 27, 2011 3:06 pm

markaberrant wrote:Double Barrel Scotch - boring North American interpretation, missing all the complexity of the finer examples.
the Hammer - my bottle was heavily oxidized and beginning to sour.
Trainwreck - of the 2 bottles I have tried, both were pretty boring; lean, malt forward interpretation with little complexity or depth of flavour.

Skookum and Amnesiac are fairly high B+, but both are rather pedestrian in my opinion.


I'm an RB'er but I gave the Double Barrel a 3.6/5, the Hammer a 3.8 (try a fresh bottle, it's pretty good), and the aptly named Trainwreck a 3.1.

Skookum never really appealed to me, especially after having better CDA/Black IPA's and Amnesiac blew me away when I first had it 6 or 7 years ago but really doesn't cut it for me anymore considering how many better IIPA's I've had. IMHO the best IPA Phillips have released was part of the HopBox seasonal, the GrowHop Cascade. They've also released a couple of IIPA's for their 8th and 9th anniversary that surpassed the Amnesiac.
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JesseM
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Postby JesseM » Fri May 27, 2011 3:27 pm

Oh those Belgium's, so tasty and grammatically defiant :wink: .

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