sense of taste and IPA

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by scottser32, Oct 14, 2013.

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  1. scottser32

    scottser32 Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2013 Ireland

    I hear words like grapefruit, lemon, citrus, mango and pineapple being thrown around alot when describing ipas but i can never seem to pick up on these flavours, its very frustrating i feel like im really missing out does a sense to these flavours become more prominent as you drink more or do i just have a crappy pallet? or are these paticular ipas which are rich in these flavours hard to come by? iv had some ipas which are really piney which im not fond of so i prefare the unpiney varieties.
  2. zookerman182

    zookerman182 Defender (601) Oct 8, 2013 Alabama
    Beer Trader

    I had some trouble too. The more you drink the more you will pick up on the subtle flavors. These typically aren't big up front flavors but they are there. How you breathe and where you let the beer hit inside your mouth can help with picking up as much flavor as possible.

    Also I find that straight out of the fridge they are tough to taste. Give the beer a solid 15 minutes before judging any flavor or aroma too seriously.
    aasher, dedbeer and Givemebeer like this.
  3. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    Fresh American hopped IPA's tend to show citrus and tropical flavors the most.
    Not sure how many of them you have access to in Ireland.
    Givemebeer, TongoRad and zookerman182 like this.
  4. BurgeoningBrewhead

    BurgeoningBrewhead Initiate (0) Jul 18, 2012 Pennsylvania

    It may have to do with freshness; it definitely hits IPAs (or any hop-forward beers) the hardest, although to what extent gets exaggerated a bit I think.
    Zorro likes this.
  5. scottser32

    scottser32 Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2013 Ireland

    freshness can be an issue here. we get brew dog from scotland and they do a pale ale called dead pony club and i do get a sense that there is definatly something tropical there but its 3.8%. i remember in america having ithica flower power and that blew me away it was fantastic but other then them two beers iv never really got those flavours
  6. StLeasy

    StLeasy Aspirant (293) Sep 8, 2013 Illinois

    Yup, the flavors much more noticeable the fresher it is.
    But you can get Torpedo there, yeah? Replace all liquids with it until you notice how fruity it starts tasting. Your tongue should get used to "looking past" the bitterness. It might not, and that's fine too.
    Mongrel and JesseMurdock like this.
  7. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    Although not an IPA give 5 a.m. Saint from Brewdog a try. They use Nelson Sauvin, a hop from New Zealand in it.
    If you don't pick up anything tropical/fruity/citrusy from that one, your palette is busted.
  8. scottser32

    scottser32 Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2013 Ireland

    ye we do get torpedo is that a fruity ipa? ill start drinkin it if it helps
    Premo88 likes this.
  9. scottser32

    scottser32 Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2013 Ireland

    iv been meaning to give this a go looking forward to trying it
  10. Jacob007

    Jacob007 Aspirant (220) Sep 18, 2012 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Somebody overnight this guy some fresh worm town be hoppy.
    Whimpers likes this.
  11. TequilaSauer

    TequilaSauer Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2006 Florida

    Don't worry about tasting what other people taste. Or liking what other people like. It took at least a year and a half of trying beers before I found an IPA/DIPA that I liked and it was a DIPA I don't even like now (90 Minute). I didn't really get those flavors when I first started, nor did I like them. Just drink what you like for now, try new things, and chances are, you'll come around to everything eventually.

    I always tell people, just say what you taste. Doesn't matter if I do or if anyone else does. It doesn't matter what we think.
  12. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (2,777) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    Palate is part of it; the particular brew is another. Different hops have different flavor profiles; some of them are heavy on the citrus, others on tropical fruits, others pine. Try some various IPAs from different styles.

    Flower Power is a great example of a sweet, floral bouquet; they use five different hop varieties, so there's a lot to savor. Torpedo has a good amount of citrus, but it still carries a lot of pine, as well. If you can get Hoptimum, it's super bitter, but it also has a lot of sweet fruit.

    BeerKangaroo likes this.
  13. StLeasy

    StLeasy Aspirant (293) Sep 8, 2013 Illinois

    It's very citrusy, but also very bitter. My reasoning (jokingly) was that eventually, you will probably notice the citrus flavors much more than the bitterness. Torpedo is really bitter, even for an IPA, so please don't expect anything different!

    Also, if the Aussie hop in that BrewDog is anything like the other aussie "Galaxy" hop, you're in for a treat! Almost a candy-like smell and taste (from Galaxy)
  14. nc41

    nc41 Meyvn (1,494) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    What IPA's are you drinking? I also see Ireland, so fresh is a major issue. Different hops impart different flavors, but all bets are off if an IPA/DIPA is old. Grapefruit would be a fresh Pliny/Zombie Dust/ Flower Power/ FW Double Jack etc, most brews using Citra Hops. Centennial is more orange/tangerine, Racer 5, Centennial, Two Hearted Ale.
    2beerdogs likes this.
  15. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,105) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Has anyone suggested trying fresh IPA's? If not I would give that a go.

    Citra doesn't equate to grapefruit.
    BeerKangaroo and raffels like this.
  16. TreeBeer

    TreeBeer Initiate (0) Jun 27, 2012 Massachusetts

    a lot of it is marketing bullshit too
    2beerdogs and misterid like this.
  17. nc41

    nc41 Meyvn (1,494) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    It does to me.
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  18. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,105) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    After quoting your post I went and looked at reviews of zombie dust and was suprised how many people got grapefruit. 80 acre hoppy wheat and GI IPA are both grapefruit bombs to me. I brew 90% of my hoppy beers at home with citra and. Hhave never gotten citrus. Tropical fruit and dank musky flavors, but never grapefruit. Crazy how palates are different.
    2beerdogs likes this.
  19. nc41

    nc41 Meyvn (1,494) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Exactly, and fresh counts IMO as much as the hops that are used. Old ZD would be sugary malty mess I would guess, but I've had a lot of Citra hop brews, some single hop some blends, but to my palate fresh citra is a grapefruit bomb. Centennial is orange/tangerine, Mosaic is cat pissy in and by itself, and better in a blend. Just my palate here.
  20. labattblueribbon

    labattblueribbon Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2013 New York

    for me a fruity citrusy IPA is Lagunitas, not too heavy, smooth drinking, and the flavors come through really well. Torpedo is not much for fruits as it is pine (my particular favorite flavor in DIPAs/EIPAs). i would suggest trying a lot of different beers and really trying to hone in on the broad categories before calling out Grapefruit or Mango. (although i still hold true that grapefruit is a cop out for just calling it bitter)
  21. StLeasy

    StLeasy Aspirant (293) Sep 8, 2013 Illinois

    Grapefruit isn't a far-cry from lemon or orange at all, the difference being that grapefruit IS more bitter and tart.
    Torpedo IMO is heavy vinous/herbal taste/bitter and very citrusy, with a lighter and more tropical nose. Delicious.
  22. Keepmywitbieraboutme

    Keepmywitbieraboutme Initiate (0) Apr 24, 2013 New York

    Revolution Anti-Hero IPA= Grapefruit... Great starter IPA to get the flavor notes honed.
    BeerKangaroo likes this.
  23. Biffster

    Biffster Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2004 Michigan

    Those are all classic descriptors of American Hops, used in American IPAs. Everyone's palate is different, and by that I mean, everyone is attuned to different flavors/ aromas, not that everyone perceives aromas and flavors differently. There are some aromas that people are sensitive to more than others, most notably diacetyl. But when it comes to the "C" hops from American IPA (Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, Chinook, Cluster, and Crystal, plus now Citra) it is all about how you describe what you sense. Most get grapefruit, along with pine, resin, orange, lemon, sometimes cedar, but many also get pepper and spice. If you don't, you don't. But tell us what you do sense. It will help all of us learn to describe and quantify what is, essentially, a qualitative experience.
    drtth and JackHorzempa like this.
  24. StLeasy

    StLeasy Aspirant (293) Sep 8, 2013 Illinois

    Schlafly's AIPA is a grapefruit bomb too. There's just no better descriptor for that sour bitter taste without having much sweet.
    You can have tried every IPA in the world, but many people will still look at you funny for arguing subtle differences in flavor :wink: Taste is very subjective.
  25. ivorycannon

    ivorycannon Devotee (494) Feb 21, 2013 Indiana

    I used to feel your pain! My problem is I have been smoking for over 20 years, which is a HUGE NO NO especially when drinking great beer. Yet, I still pick up some of the flavors you describe because I have been drinking great beer for about as long as I have been smoking years. In time, you will start to be able to taste and pick out certain flavors of certain beers you really enjoy.
  26. Premo88

    Premo88 Meyvn (1,497) Jun 6, 2010 Texas

    Torpedo is a solid stand-by. It's got a lot of sweetness to it, some mango/candy-like notes with some citrus ... citrus on the orange/lemon/lime side but not the full-on grapefruit bomb like Stone's Enjoy By. More than anything, it's a load of sweet/caramel/tropical fruit (mango, starfruit).

    Picking up flavors in and around all those bitter hops can take some time. I'm still a long ways away from being able to do it, but it's definitely getting easier over time.
  27. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (822) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)

    Weird. I've got a pretty crap palate but the first time I had a Citra based beer all I could taste was grapefruit, and that was before I knew that grapefruit could be perceived in beer. I find a lot of these overly hoppy American beers taste unnaturally fruity, as though they've had fruit cordial added.
  28. Hopportunistic

    Hopportunistic Aspirant (263) Jan 24, 2013 North Carolina

    Everyone's palate is different, so don't feel bad if you don't taste the same things. Also, the type of glass you drink out of can affect the subtle flavors and aromas of beer. Have you tried drinking IPAs out of different types of glassware ?

    Cheers and happy imbibing !!
  29. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,408) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    I agree with one of the first posters who said let the beer come to the proper temperature. The nose on a beer unfolds as it warms and so do the flavors. Sometimes a smell or a taste is just so authentic that you can't help but say, "that's a tangerine." An IPA has a way of developing int he glass over about 10 -15 minutes. Use the wine tasting techniques, hold the sip in your mouth for a bit then swallow. If you read someones review and think I didn't notice that spice, then go get the spice jar and sniff and taste the beer again to compare. A lot of it is familiarity.
  30. Flibber

    Flibber Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2013 United Kingdom (England)

    The only beers where I can taste grapefruit are gueuzes. Plenty of fruitiness in IPA, but the grapefruit thing I don't see.
  31. BrandonDecker

    BrandonDecker Initiate (113) Oct 15, 2013 Florida

    Grapefruit is what I taste in Ranger IPA.
  32. misterid

    misterid Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2009 Wisconsin

    i tend to think a lot of people are just mimicking what they read from other reviewers so that they don't feel like they look stupid
  33. abkayak

    abkayak Disciple (391) Jan 8, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    maybe you just need to get out and drink more
  34. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,105) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I can get behind this as well. Drink goose island sofie at fridge temp, and let it warm up about 15 degrees and try it again, tooootally different beer.
  35. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 New York

    Don't beat yourself up. A lot of people are blowing smoke up their own asses.

    Personally I think the BA collective should eat a mango, savor it and then agree IPAs don't taste like mangos....even the tropical tasting ones
    BeerKangaroo likes this.
  36. nc41

    nc41 Meyvn (1,494) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    LOL, I don't know what a mango tastes like, but I do understand something easy and common like grapefruit, pine, cat piss.
    stealth likes this.
  37. stealth

    stealth Zealot (507) Dec 16, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Don't forget horse blanket. much easier to pick out than exotic shit
    JG-90, CassinoNorth and nc41 like this.
  38. djsmith1174

    djsmith1174 Disciple (343) Aug 21, 2005 Minnesota

    Grapefruit would be the fruit flavor that I most equate IPAs with. And definitely not just like grapefruit juice, but it's present. I pick up other subtle fruit notes in certain ones, but grapefruit would be my foremost descriptor.
  39. StLeasy

    StLeasy Aspirant (293) Sep 8, 2013 Illinois

    Ain't that the truth... :wink:
    I noticed you dropped the "no IPAs taste like grapefruit" this time around :stuck_out_tongue:
    Mango/Papaya are tropical flavors/scents. A sweet, almost melon-y flavor. Heavy Galaxy or Mosaic hopped beers give me a hint of that, and I notice it in some heavy citra beers to a lesser extent.
  40. Zorro

    Zorro Poo-Bah (4,318) Dec 25, 2003 California

    Freshness is EVERYTHING that matters when it comes to AIPA.
    BeerKangaroo likes this.
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