When I first saw this instalment of Slipstream’s Uncharted series, I wondered why it was an oat cream IPA. The point of the series is to showcase experimental hop varieties; why add oats and lactose?
Then I read a little about HBC 630, the experimental hop in question. Specifically, I read: “HBC 630 is complex and fruity, with sweet fruits and berries like raspberry and cherry, along with sweet candy-like esters and lactones giving creamy notes of peach and banana.” So, OK, it’s already halfway to giving off creamy dessert-like flavours. I can see why you’d highlight those characteristics.
To begin with there are huge sweet fruit and cherry candy aromas, ringing through the nose with the resonance of Quasimodo’s bells. Or to use a more contemporary reference,* it’s like someone put a basket full of pungent mango, ripe pineapple, cherry candies and a carton of sweetened cream under one of those hydraulic presses and made a huge gushing fruity-creamy splatter.**
The lactose and oats don’t dominate; for an oat cream IPA, this beer is neither too sweet nor too thick, letting the creaminess show in the flavour more than in the texture. There’s even a light sizzle of bitterness that’s been allowed to remain for balance.
All in all, this beer’s been handled quite well. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been too quick to judge – just as people of Paris shouldn’t have been too quick to judge Quasimodo.***
“What’s not contemporary about a 200-year-old novel set 550 years ago, made popular to people of our generation by a Disney film from almost thirty years ago? Surely that’s already a topical reference!”
I know that’s more topical, because Facebook keeps suggesting I watch videos of hydraulic presses crushing all kinds of things for my viewing pleasure. And also videos of people doing interpretive dances of said hydraulic presses. Imagine how different the works of Victor Hugo would be if he’d lived to see such things! **I really don’t know why I keep talking about Quasimodo. I haven’t even read The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Published April 2, 2023 2023-04-02 00:00:00