Tasting: Opus 8, Robert Johnson IPA

Posted: September 8, 2012 in Recipes, Tasting Notes

It’s been a while since I posted, and since I’ve brewed. But, I did want to give a quick update on the Robert Johnson IPA before I finish the last couple bottles.

Overall, this beer has come together pretty nicely over the last couple weeks. It hit it’s stride about 8 weeks after bottling, giving a nice sized 1/2 head that lasts throughout the glass. The picture here was an early bottle, taken after 4 weeks in the bottle. The aroma isn’t as big as I would have liked, but it is still present. As I recall, I did leave it a bit longer than intended, so it was a bit diminished. I’m also not sure if the Centennial I used was the best choice for the Mr. Beer hops already in the American Devil.

As for taste, it does have a nice complexity to it from the hops. I fermented a bit hot (still no temp control, unfortunately), so it has a slight hot alcohol flavor, but not too much to bother me, and you have to really think about it to taste it, to my untrained palate. You clearly pick up grapefruit notes from the Cascade, but there is a nice balance from the malts as well. It’s definitely high on the IBUs, and gives a very dry finish. Being based on the MB extract, it’s hard to say exactly what causes the dryness, other than the bitterness. Still, the finish adds some complexity without overwhelming.

This balance improved with time, as as the beer warmed, it became very good. Early on, it was a bit too dry and certain flavors like grapefruit where much more pronounced. But over the last couple weeks, it has really been a good drinking beer.

I enjoyed the combination of hops, and think it added some nice flavor to what is already a decent MB extract. But, since Coopers has discontinued this extract, it looks like I won’t be able to try this one again, even if I wanted to.

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