One of these days, I’ve got to review a regular beer. I’ve been sucked into trying many brewer specialty offerings lately. The bottles just look so big and pretty. The only drawbacks are that they tend to be pricy, and they tend to be higher in alcohol, so one bottle and I’m done.
This is the first offering from the Shipyard specialty series (called Pugsley’s Signature Series, after Shipyard master brewer Alan Pugsley) that I’ve tried, and I’m very impressed. So many IPAs I taste these days, especially those from specialty series, tend to be overhopped (see my previous article on Hops Wars), but this beer is beautifully balanced with great malt character. The hops (they use Cascade hops) sit perfectly atop this malty base, creating an almost perfect beer. It’s copper-colored with a perfect head and slightly fruity aroma.
The only drawback is that it’s slightly too high in alcohol at 9.25%. It doesn’t at all overwhelm the beer (I still score it highly) but it is noticeable, and that should never be noticeable.