Color me intrigued
A Review of Inversion IPA by Deschutes Brewery
Posted on 7/1/2015 by Chops
In today's craft beer world, the IPA has become its own worst enemy. What was once a bitter pale ale with notes of citrus has become an uncountable juggernaut of variation. We now have Black IPAs, White IPAs, Belgian IPAs, Doubles, Triples, the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, this puts a lot of undue pressure on breweries that craft standard versions. Beer drinkers have come to expect crazy experiences from their bitter hop bombs. As a result, breweries actually risk more by crafting regular versions. Not only do these beers have to exemplify quality, but they also have to offer something unique. One great example is the Deschutes Inversion IPA.
So what's unique about the Inversion IPA? Best to let the Deschutes Brewery explain:
''Our year-round beer answer to the siren call of the hop. Inversion's trio of American hops deliver an over-the-top nose with hints of orange and grapefruit. Then we toss in seven days of dry-hopping for good measure. Because we can. No mere hop sledgehammer, Inversion is a careful fusion. Crystal and Carastan malts woven throughout provide for a surprisingly soft, caramel complexity for an 80-IBU IPA.''
Allow me to reiterate: an 80-IBU IPA with a soft caramel base. You don't see that every day. Color me intrigued.
In the glass, this beer had the dark coppery amber coloration. It came with a rocky tan head that had really nice retention. Interesting. A definite departure from the standard golden and white hues of a baseline IPA. On the nose, I was greeted by toasted bread, earthy malts, sweet caramel, and a healthy dose of pine. This was where my eyebrows scrunched together in confusion. An IPA aroma with front-loaded malty sweetness. While certainly rare, I found it oddly inviting.
Once I got into the flavor, everything started to make sense. This was basically a piney IPA with a equally potent malty backbone, creating a nicely balanced brew with big flavors, but no overwhelming characteristics. I must admit, a very neat trick. Flavor wise, I found grapefruit, earthy malts, warm orange citrus, sweet caramel, hints of stone fruit, and a nice piney bite. The hops profile was a bit sharp, but only moderately aggressive. The beer had a light-to-medium body and felt quite zesty on the palate. The finish was somewhat dry and exited with a long piney bitter aftertaste.
Overall, I found the Deschutes Inversion IPA to be a lively interpretation of a deviant style. It offered high quality and uniqueness through the lens of a savory malt base, while staying true to the core style. As a result, this is a brew that I can recommend to most beer fans. Fans of maltier brews will enjoy it as a hop-forward version, while fans of hoppier brews will enjoy it as a malt-forward version. Therein lies this beer's appeal: a quality option for multiple camps.
Deschutes is well known for their high quality brews and they have more than established themselves as a pillar of the American craft beer movement. Excellence has become an expectation when sampling their delicious brews, and the Inversion IPA was no different. Despite the deep amber in my glass, my trust in Deschutes was rewarded. Cheers!