Half Baked “Astral Traveling (April 2021)” Double IPA

Name:Astral Traveling (April 2021)
Brewer:Half Baked Brewing Collective (Philippines)
Style:Double IPA
ABV: 8.5%
Review Year: 2021

The April 2021 outturn of Astral Traveling by the Manila-based Half Baked Brewing Collective is an unfiltered Double IPA that features Incognito Citra oil, Citra, Nelson Sauvin, and Centennial hops. This beer also showcases a malt bill composed of Pilsner, Vienna, and Wheat, and was fermented using a “Chico” yeast strain.

STYLE GUIDELINES

This beer is being evaluated as a Double IPA (22A) 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.

TASTING NOTES

Pale gold with a slight haze; foamy white head with good retention. Permanent haziness confirmed that this beer was unfiltered. The nose was hop-forward as it unveiled very aromatic ripe fruits such as cherry, peach, passion fruit with a medium-low bubble gum accent. Malt aroma felt neutral, while fermentation may have also contributed to the fruitiness. Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Flavor profile was likewise hop-driven. Prominent juicy passion fruit and peach flavors up front sans any tartness; bubble gum returned albeit low and melded with herbal/ grassy notes and faint peppery flavors in the background. Medium-low bitterness: piney, herbal/ grassy. Medium-low malt backbone and manifested as bready akin to that of pilsners; more evident as the beer settled down. Finished slightly on the sweet side; faint alcohol notes. Aftertaste lingered with the familiar passion fruit, herbal/ grassy undertones; left the palate with slight astringency/ puckering quality.

THE VERDICT

This outturn of Astral Traveling is a very aromatic, hazy, and juicy take on a Double IPA that features hop attributes far from the usual orange citrusy “West Coast” theme. In particular, this hazy Double IPA brought to the table a basket of vibrant ripe fruits such as passion fruit with a touch of bubble gum and herbal/ grassy accents. This beer also tasted relatively less bitter than the traditional Double IPAs.

Despite having the bubble gum character, the hop presence was evident enough to remind its drinkers this is still a Double IPA and not a Weissbier (10A). However, the future iterations could still be cleaner, i.e., less of the breadiness and even the bubble gum, and could still temper the slight astringency/ puckering quality. Further, sweetness could still be toned down for a drier finish. It deviates from the traditional, but we think Astral Traveling is still an excellent beer.

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