Boy King Double IPA

OK, here we go with the much vaunted Boy King from COAST. I got really lucky as my wife was in Hilton Head when the Boy King was tapped at The Lodge – one growler = $19.
Growler opens with a pleasing “phhssst” which gives me confidence – you never know how well the growler was filled or how it will hold up over a couple of days. This one seems perfect.
The nose up front is really quite strong with a hop-laden tangerine citrus coming to the fore. The aroma is pretty interesting because as the beer warms a little the fruit intensifies but the smell seems to become increasingly malty and less hop-dominant.
A hazed and clouded amber/orange with degrees of color down the tapered glass, the beer has an Olde English Marmalade look about it in terms of hue. Head is light but full, leaves excellent lace, and has nice retention but is less “sticky” that some DIPA froths.
EXTREMELY well balanced with a malt presence and backbone which MUST be one of the largest ever encountered in an American DIPA. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of west coast style resin and pine in the middle and back-end of the beer, but the start is very, very malty for the style and this rounds out the aftertaste too – very unusual and subtle aftertaste for something in this style. Mild bitterness but not palate wrenching. There’s even a touch of unsweetened bubblegum in there!
Extremely drinkable, and although I wouldn’t say that the alcohol is nowhere to be seen, I would say that it is quite subtle and very understated in terms of the taste. It does not manifest itself in the 9.5% range! As a result, take care, this beer could clearly sneak up on you and bite you pretty hard.
I score this beer pretty highly, BUT this is really interesting because if you are a SERIOUS hop-head I don’t think that this will quite cut it for you. In that respect it’s an interesting DIPA and a beer that will appeal to those of us that like a hop blast but still demand balance. Some American drinkers shun such balance so, in time, we should get some mixed reviews on this one. I’ll be watching with interest.

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04/10/2010
Format:
growler
ABV: 9.5 %
Appearance: 4.5
Taste: 4
Mouthfeel: 4
Smell: 5
Overall: 4.5
Total: 4.33
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Year:

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