Bearded Iris "Portal" Double IPA

If I could paint a picture of what a brewer should be, that picture would be of  Bearded Iris. No, they're still not as consistently great as some others, but they are definitely trying very hard with all of these different kinds of IPAs and Double IPA's. They know what kind of beer I like, and they're aiming for the sweet spot. I admire that.

That's a stinky beer. Hops are jumping out of the glass right now, and the citrus, mango, pineapple, orange (yes, I know pineapple and orange are citrus) waft right up the nose with sweet grain carrying it out of that meager beverage container. This beer is bigger than the room that it's in. The hazy coppery beer has almost no head, and it scatters its bubbles pretty quickly.

First sip is a strange combination of creamy and harsh with citric acid and carbonation, but then it peters out with bitterness as the drink is gone. It's not an unsatisfying beer, as the solid meat of the fruits is right in the mouth with a flavor and presence you don't get in a lot of beers. The bitterness seems untamed, but that just might be the sip instead of the proper swig. Well, we're not amateurs around here.

Tip-in is sweet bread and caramel malt with a spritz of citrus that feels like it's a song getting louder as the middle comes towards it. The middle is unexpectedly gentle, and it brings that meat of the fruit with the malt keeping things sweet around the sides. The finish is a jerk of bitterness, but then there's a tartness that trails off in a dusty cloud of fruits.

Bottom Line: It's a very good beer, and it starts to get great with a bit of warmth.

3.5/5

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