Name: Balikatan Hops
Brewer: Tucked Away Brewing Company (United States), Elias Wicked Ales & Spirits (Philippines)
Style: Specialty IPA: New England IPA
Review Year: 2021
Balikatan Hops is the first official and offshore collaboration between Raoul Masangcay of Elias Wicked Ales & Spirits and Tucked Away Brewing Company in Manassas, Virginia. A tribute to the historic military treaty by the United States and the Philippines, this New England IPA features Idaho7, Galaxy, Talus, and Nelson Sauvin hops.
This beer is being evaluated as a Specialty IPA: New England IPA (21B) in the context of the provisional guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) for the said beer style. The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.
Hazy pale gold; medium white head with fair retention. The aroma opened up initially with a dominant peach character. This was followed by relatively less assertive scents of lemon/orange candy, orange citrus with a touch of something akin to rose petals and alcohol. Medium-bodied, moderately low carbonation with a subtle nectar-like afterfeel. Flavor profile expounded on the aroma with moderately high juicy bright citrus and tropical fruits (e.g., orange, pineapple, and peach). A bready malt backbone was supportive with this beer finishing slightly on the sweet side; moderate perceived bitterness. The aftertaste lingered long with orange citrus, lime peel, floral/rose petal, and a subtle peppery note.
Reviewed a month after its canning date, Balikatan Hops is a New England IPA that leans toward the juicy and sweeter side of the style with the Talus hop being the star of the show. Based on our experience, beers brewed with Talus tend to have that distinct floral or rose petal character. This, however, is not a surprise given that said ingredient is noted to deliver big aromas of pink grapefruit, citrus rinds, dried roses, pine resin, tropical fruits, and sage, with the impactful citrus, floral, wood, and fruit aromas remaining throughout the brewing process.
As per the provisional guidelines, New England IPAs are said to have sweetness up to a moderate level due to the relatively high ester level and low bitterness. While we think the level of sweetness is on the upper bound of the appropriate range, others may prefer a relatively drier and a more bitter take on the style. Maybe a lower ABV version of this beer could tilt the balance more on the hoppy and less on the malty side of the spectrum. Further, the peppery aftertaste could still be minimized or removed. All in all, it is a very good beer.
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