Thanks to a beer swap with Scott from Beerbecue, I was able to recently pop open my first-ever Troegs bottle. I had been familiar with the brewery from reputation and got to try their Sunshine Pils on tap during a trip home this summer, but I was very excited for this go-around.
Along with a couple other bottles, Scott sent me a Perpetual IPA from Troegs, which has a 92 on Beer Advocate. There are a lot of cool aspects to this beer, including a three-stage hop process that I don’t think many breweries make abundantly clear if they use it. For this brew, Troegs uses a hopback stage, which takes place between the initial boil/brewing of the beer and dry hopping after fermentation. Hopbacking is essentially another way to get all those wonderful hop aromas and flavors into the beer and in Perpetual IPA, it certainly shows.
The hope lineup is impressive:
- Boil – Bravo, Chinook, Mt. Hood
- Hopback – Mt. Hood, Nugget
- Dry hop – Citra, Cascade, Amarillo
This amount of hop use is evident on the first smell, which comes across very resiny. It’s also a bit bitter, not not nearly as bad as Caged Alpha Monkey. Normally, I’d experience a “resin” aroma with notes of pine or wood, but in this beer it comes across much more as fresh, harsh, nondescript citrus. This is the first beer I’ve ever had that when it made me think of grapefruit, I could actually picture the fruit keenly in my mind. The zest of the hop smell is like you’re cutting open a grapefruit, scooping out the fleshy fruit and its smell fills the air around you.
The flavor didn’t let me down, either, as the 85 IBUs of this beer are very well balanced – the bitterness of all those hops is hidden behind the citrus aspects I found in the smell. The beer even became sweet after a while, which to me is a sign of an excellent IPA. When I get this from a beer, it usually stems from the freshness of the hops (as well as the amount thrown in). Once again, there was no pine flavor from the resin smell and the bitterness mixed with the dryness of the beer to leave my tongue feeling pretty taxed. I felt like I needed a break while drinking it because it wouldn’t have been worthwhile to try drinking another beer style after this one. But that’s not a bad thing.
The only downer of this beer was the carbonation was little to nothing. I purposefully poured it aggressively into the glass with the hope of inducing good head, but I barely got any lacing on the top of the beer and it didn’t stick around longer than a couple minutes. Luckily, there’s so much aroma to this beer that a lack of head didn’t make a difference. The beer was pretty damned clear, though, and had a smooth mouthfeel.
Hit the jump for my “Rate That Beer” sheet.