Downward Spiral India Pale Ale
My can of Spiral Brewery Downward Spiral India Pale Ale (7.4% alcohol by volume) is 2 months old. Popping the can releases mild floral hop aromas with some tropical fruit, and citrus. Malt aromas are medium low and fermentation aromas are medium low and support the hop aroma. All the parts of the aroma work together with the balance to the hops. The beer is a beauty, pouring bright amber under a robust 2” off-white cap with good retention. On the tongue tropical fruit and citrus come in at moderate levels and almost immediately give way to an enticing bitterness that is assertive but elegant and not vulgar or harsh. The fermentation character supports the hops. the bitter lingers pleasantly. The flavors are well balanced, all work together and nothing is out of place. Hops are not harsh or sharp. Everything does its job and does it well. Downward has a little more malt action than some but this softens the hop bitterness and helps smooth it out. The beer has a rich, soft creamy texture and the texture sells this beer. The body and carbonation are medium. The alcohol is soft, mildly warming and not hot or harsh. This is one of those beers where the look, the aroma and the flavor all combine to cause you to exclaim "well hot damn – a very pleasant find" and well worth an 88 rating. This is a beer you candrink all day. The hop flavors have an elegant tea like bitterness and the malt adds a softening sweetness that softens but does not overwhelm. Spiral Brewery accomplishes a lot in an actual, honest to God IPA without a lot of bullshit thrown in.
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