As part of their Tidal Series, Vancouver Island Brewing has released a summer twist on a popular style of beer, the Double IPA. With no fancy name to beat around the bush, this is the Imperial Peach IPA from this series, one that surely matches the warmer months of the year.
B.C. Beer Reviews: Vancouver Island Brewing – Imperial Peach IPA
Not only is the style of beer showcased here a popular one in B.C., but adding in flavours of fleshy fruits like peach is a hot trend as well. Putting these two things together is a hard beer to miss out on. Another note that makes this beer interesting is that, according to the label, this is the first ever Imperial/Double IPA ever for Vancouver Island Brewing. When you take into account that they opened their doors in 1984 this is truly an anomaly, to say the least.
This beer pours a rather clear and deep golden-amber colour from the bottle. In the glass this brew keeps its clarity and its colour. This matches up perfectly with the style.
The aromatics of this beer are very unsurprisingly hop-forward. There is a dank red that is common with the style.
Aside from the unsurprising level of dank aromatics, there is a fruity note to help balance it out. Without being told on the front of the bottle that it is peach it would have been hard to distinguish what kind of citric fleshy fruit you are smelling. Either way, it is a pleasant aromatic for a summertime beer.
The tasting notes are where the peach comes out rather nicely. You get much more character from the peach concentrate used on your palate than you did in the aromatics. This fruity sweetness is a very tasty note to start off each sip with.
Behind that peach note is the dank and somewhat piney bitter backbone that you would expect from the style. It is certainly a bitter brew, but rather approachable for being an Imperial IPA. This makes it much easier to drink when the days are at their hottest.
The malt/grain bill gets out of the way and lets the peach and hops do all the work on your palate in this one.
The branding/labeling is simple yet quite nice. A nice purple background is complimented by an orange bottom half of the label that looks like a wave coming in. Front and centre is the Vancouver Island Brewing logo with the killer whales that most people associate with the brand.
There is a significant amount of lacing on the glass from this beer. This is not at all a surprising note given the style of beer and the amount of hop matter that is commonly used for this style.
There is also a nice level of carbonation in this brew. It adds a slightly crisp finish to an otherwise balanced beer between sweetness and bitterness.
The one thing about this beer that is well below average is its head retention. It pours a moderate head, but it does not retain that head for long after each pour.
The peach note is strongest on your palate, but it is also very present in the aromatics. In the taste this is balanced by the bitter backbone you expect from this style. This brew finishes with a nice crisp level of carbonation and a lingering bitterness.
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Main photo by Nic Hendrickson, Lastword Inc., all rights reserved