Name: The Trifecta!
Brewers: Turning Point Beer, Celestial Beerworks, Oak Cliff Brewing Co. (United States)
Style: Triple IPA
Review Year: 2021
The Trifecta! is a hazy and juicy “Triple IPA” brewed with Citra and Sabro hops. This massive beer, which weighs in at 10.5% ABV, was brewed by a trio of Texas-based craft breweries: Turning Point Beer, Celestial Beerworks, and Oak Cliff Brewing Co.
This “Triple IPA” is being evaluated as a Specialty IPA (21B) in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.
As of this writing, the “Triple IPA,” particularly the hazy and juicy variant, is not yet an official/ explicit style and, thus, lacks a comprehensive set of guidelines by the BJCP. However, the Brewers Association (BA) had already provisioned guidelines for the “Juicy or Hazy Imperial or Double India Pale Ale” in the 2018 update of their Beer Style Guidelines. This style appears to be the closest benchmark for these hazy and juicy “Triple IPAs.” An article written by Randy Mosher in 2020 could also be referred to for additional hallmarks of the style:
- Haziness from a radical dry-hopping not from the yeast;
- Aroma of tropical fruits, stone-fruits, and/or bright citrus;
- Viscous and creamy mouthfeel;
- Mild bitterness;
- ABV of around 10%;
- Dry-hopped twice or thrice;
- Water used is tilted toward calcium chloride to enhance the creamy presentation;
- Fermented usually with an English strain, but “Conan” is the most notable;
- Bigger examples should be exploding with hops aroma and very rich and full on the palate;
- Balance can sometimes tilt away from drinkability;
- Lactose is an optional ingredient;
- Very young versions can display a peppery “hop burn” on the finish;
- Well-brewed and well-packaged versions may stay perfectly lovely for a couple of months; and
- Less prone to oxidation relative to classic IPAs.
Hazy straw with a well-formed medium white head. The aroma went full-on ripe peach, mango, and resin. After a while, moderate aromas of coconut, bready malt, passion fruit surfaced alongside a distinct resiny-leafy “dank” character. Medium-full body, moderate carbonation, no harsh or hot alcohol notes. Flavors of ripe mango, peach, and cantaloupe burst into the scene coupled with a medium-low resiny-leafy “dankness” and a duality of coconut and lime zest. Perceived bitterness was moderately low, while a low bready malt backbone was present to support the hoppy flavors. Semi-sweet finish (moderate residual sweetness); aftertaste lingered long with ripe peach, coconut, and some bitterness.
These juicy and hazy “Triple IPAs” still lack a comprehensive set of formal and explicit guidelines, but with what we have tried so far, we think The Trifecta! could be another potential benchmark of the said style. We refer to these beers informally as “New England IPAs on steroids” due mainly to their massive juicy hop aroma and flavor profiles and high yet concealed alcohol content, and this Triple IPA embodied these salient characteristics quite well. Moreover, the absence of any “hot” alcohol notes, astringency (puckering quality), “hop bite,” and harsh bitterness have all made this beer quite smooth and palatable despite weighing in at 10.5% ABV. We were also delighted to have noted the distinct coconut characteristics associated with the Sabro hop variety. All in all, we think The Trifecta! is an outstanding beer and goes down as one of our more memorable “Triple IPAs.”
Flavor Fever: Seeing Through the Haze of Double and Triple Juicy IPAs (Craft Beer & Brewing, 2020)
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