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Salvation IPA

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Atwater Block Brewery
Detroit, MI

Style: India Pale Ale (IPA)
ABV: 6.0%

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Not good.)

I’ve always been partial to unfiltered beer. Given the choice between an unfiltered and filtered beer—all other things being equal, of course—I’d probably go for the unfiltered persuasion. Maybe unfiltered brews remind me of the rustic, pre-industrial days of brewing, when brewing was more art than science, before corporations filtered out the very soul of beer along with all the yeast and trüb and other unwanted elements philistines like in their clear beer. Or maybe it’s because some of the best beer I’ve ever had—home brew—is about as unfiltered as you can get. Or maybe it’s just that I’m a littled unfiltered myself.

The reason I’m talking up unfiltered beer is so you understand I’m not some filtered beer dork who has a predisposed disposition against cloudy brews. Because tonight’s beer, Atwater Block IPA, is decidedly unfiltered, and I did not like it at all.

This brew pours with a big, puffy, sustained white head, but I barely notice that after catching a gander of the beer itself: reddish-gold and extremely cloudy. No. Scratch that. Extremely chunky. Big blobs of suspended material, including some tiny black flakes that look like ground black pepper. Weird. And not all that appealing, at least from a visual sense.

The aroma isn’t bad, though, a mix—about a 70-30 mix—of bready malt and citrusy hops. Not bad, but nothing to write home about. (Dear Ma, you should’ve smelled the IPA I drank last night …)

The start of the sip is crisp, helped along by a tiny bit of bitterness. This fades to a wash of dry maltiness, so much so that the last half of the sip is WAY malty, damn near bock-like in its caramel sweetness. The malt overpowers any hops that might have been there before fading into a weak, almost watery finish.

Other than a fantastic head and a decent aroma, this is one ugly beer. It could be that I just got an old batch, because I’ve had a lot of Atwater Block brews, and I’ve enjoyed them all, except this one. Give their IPA a pass.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on March 3, 2010.
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