We all had the IPA at Quaff during Gurugram Craft Beer Week and loved every sip. You’ll find that a lot of outlets in the Gurugram area serve what they claim is an IPA, but it’s closer to an underhopped blonde ale than a real IPA. A real IPA is a barrage of hop bitterness and flavours, delicately balanced by an underlying malt sweetness. In simple terms though, it’s actually one of the most bitter beers in the craft beer world, having a starting IBU count (International Bitterness Unit) of at least 40 – making the least bitter versions of it almost 5 times more bitter than your average lager. This is truly one of my favorite styles – the more hoppy it is, the better!
The reason it was chosen as the winning beer in the category, like all the beers that won, is it is a great example of the style, artfully brewed, matured and skillfully served. It got many extra points for the enormous amount of dry hopping done, which is an expensive touch, but so worth it, as the softer hop aromas and flavours are usually boiled away and this is the only means to get it back in the beer.
Let’s look at the tasting notes:
STYLE CATEGORY 12c: British-style India Pale Ale
- Aroma – Lots of grapefruit, herbal and citrus notes from the American hops. The hops are most definitely American, but that’s not essential to the style. Definitely properly done!
- Appearance – Amber coloured and slightly hazy. Usually quite clear, although the dry hopping does tend to make it quite hazy – great payoff in my opinion – and a long-lasting head as well, which is also exactly what it should be. Spot on here too.
- Mouthfeel – Smooth and medium bodied, with no hop astringency at all. Great.
- Flavour – Beautiful hop bite on the first sip, with the malt sweetness smoothing out all rough edges directly afterward. Dry hopping flavours linger and are present exactly like the aroma, with a few minor notes like freshly cut lawn. Malt background is bready with some caramel sweetness with a balanced water profile. Perfect.
- Overall – A well-attenuated British-style IPA that is a great example of the style and the best by a running mile of all the IPA’s available in Gurgaon.
Great work Ishaan Grover on your beer! Keep more like that coming.