Brouwerij de Molen Vurr & Vlam India Pale Ale-ish

brouwerij de Molen Vurr & Vlam India Pale Ale-ishA buddy of mine gave a bottle of Brouwerij de Molen for my birthday last year, I planned on saving it for a special occasion because he picked it up while he was in Europe, then today I checked out the label and noticed it says India Pale Ale-ish, eep! I had an IPA(ish) beer in my fridge for over a year now, I feel bad for unintentionally aging it, but the show must go on, and de Molen has been a consistently decent brewery over the years (aside from a gusher in an advent calendar), so I feel it should still be alright.

Brewed with water, barley malts (Pils, Caramel), bitter hops (Cascade), dry hop (Amarillo, Columbus, Chinook, Citra), top fermenting yeast. Best before date of Feb 21, 2020. 6.2% ABV

Appearance: India Pale Ale-ish pours a thick amber appearance that's reminiscent of a very heavy powdered iced tea drink (think Good Host), definitely reminiscent of IPAs I was typically drinking before the tropical IPA phase five or more years ago. The head is fairly thick and dense with a fairly white appearance to it, perhaps a hint of beige.

Aroma: Certainly not the freshest on my part but it has a good amount of bittering and tropical hops popping out in here. I get a lot of pine right from the beginning, followed by a bit of lemon, moderate amount of grapefruit and a bit of pineapple. The Citra has held up really well in this beer, I still get the tropical zestiness I expected and no cardboardy/off aroma so far. Good amount of caramel sweetness for malt at the end. For the most part, this is quite a hop-forward beer.

Taste: Notes of caramel/toffee for sweetness, while there's also a big punch of hop character that hits even harder. Notes of pine, a liberal amount of pineapple and mango, moderate amount of lemon, a bit of an Earl Grey tea-like taste to it, light floral notes, hint of grapefruit and slight nuttiness.

Overall Thoughts: Aged decently well considering everything. The beer is surprisingly still tropical with there being a citrus zest hitting the palate in every sip, while it's also quite bitter from the Cascade, something you're not really seeing much in IPAs now days.. I miss those days. Smooth for me but for those who hate oldschool IPAs. I have a few Mexican crafty-style beers coming in the next few days so watch out!

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