Beer of the Weekend #588: Bubblejack India Pale Ale

The beer of the weekend is Bubblejack India Pale Ale, brewed by the Rush River Brewing Company of River Falls, Wisconsin.

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. For a freshness date, there are two notches on the side of the label. One notch is next to “JUN” and the other is next to “WK1.” Is that when it was brewed? I assume and hope, but have no clue.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. The color is pretty light for an IPA: it is deepish gold with a light haze. Two fingers of dense, buttery, white foam settled slowly. Streams of bubbles rise from the bottom and dance hypnotically when the glass is titled.

Smell: Very unlike a typical IPA. In fact, it smells more like a domestic summer wheat ale than an IPA. The only citrus I can smell is an astringent zest that most reminds me of lemon. Musty pale malts predominate, though. Adding to the summer wheat ale comparison, it smells like there is a little coriander, too, as well as some peach.

Taste: The mouthfeel is full and creamy, and an astringent hop bitterness registers on the back of the tongue. Pale malts predominate, as they do in the smell, but the zestiness is very prominent. A domestic summer wheat continues to come to mind in regards to the full-bodied mouthfeel, a little spice, bitter peel, and hints of peach. Weak orange, grapefruit, and tangerine come into play late, but the malts still hold sway.

Drinkability: Honestly, I cannot make up my mind whether or not this beer is fresh or past its prime. According to the brewery website, this beer is dry-hopped to infuse “an added hop aroma.” It doesn’t smell like it. However, the flavor is still strong — albeit untypical and outside the box for an IPA. The bitterness is also solid. I guess I will lean toward fresh, but the uncertainty is a little off-putting.

Fun facts about Bubblejack:

-Style: IPA.

-Price: $8.99/sixer at John’s Grocery in Iowa City.

-Alcohol content: 6.5 percent ABV.

The Quiet Man’s grade: B.

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