Wow, I just looked, and I haven’t done a full blog review since June. Did I mention I got a job? I’m not sure how real people manage it…. Regardless, I still get beers to review, and I still want to add content here, and I’m just going to have to buckle down and say “I don’t need to spend a leisurely 3 hours reviewing a beer in the afternoon”. If you’re thirsty for more reviews (see what I did there?) I do periodically do more concise reviews on instagram, where I’m @ChrisSchryer. But I digress. A short while ago I was told I absolutely had to try this, and as I haven’t posted a review from Muddy York in literally over a year, I thought the time was ripe to do it right. Not only do I already know and trust Jeff’s abilities at making fantastic beers, but the label for R-100 IPA has a picture of what I would call a blimp, but which the label refers to as a dirigible, which is not a word you get to use every day. And I found myself bemused at the thought of dirigibles flying into and out of Toronto, which of course they did, but I never really considered. And now I have. And I’ve also gotten to drink, as I say, a fantastic beer.
From a 500ml bottle, R-100 IPA pours a hazy dark amber, with traces of brown in the centre. A dense low head of about 1/2″ drops to a very thick blanket of head that lingers and left a notable amount of lace on the glass.
Aroma is big fruity hops, with hits of oranges, mango, berries, and papaya. There are touches of sweet malts, but the hops are very fragrant and dominant, and allude to deliciousness to come. At the first sip, my initial reaction is actually how creamy and velvety the mouthfeel is. I suspect both oats and a good dose of calcium chloride in the brewing water to make this medium body so very smooth and rich. That hearty foundation perfectly supports the very prevalent hops, which are quite dryingly bitter, and actually seem to show more herbal notes on the palate, with the fruitiness still there, but more subdued. I get black tea and evergreen now, a little earthy and dank, with the orange tasting more like peel, and the more delicate tropicals showing up on the finish, with a sharp apple taste. Not sure if that apple fruitness is from the hops (label says Magnum, Topaz, and Equinox; and I’m not super familiar with those last two) or from the yeast, as I know that some people have been finding great success brewing IPAs — especially New England/Vermont style ones — with more traditional English ale yeasts. Either way, this beer drinks big and New World hoppy, but with a creaminess and hints of Old World flavours. It even seems to be, not under carbonated, but rather very gently carbonated, in a way that gives the impression of drinking a casked ESB. But again, with a much much more hoppy profile. It is a really nice brew, and one that stands out in a few interesting and very good ways. Producing an excellent IPA is tricky enough (gone are the days of throwing hops at any problem, until it goes away), so to make a lovely one that also has these interesting little quirks, is quite the feat.
Cheers to the awesome crew at Muddy York!
Buy R-100 IPA
At the Muddy York Brewery in East York right now! But they’re getting low, so don’t wait around.
Drink It With
Okay, this one is a bit tricky. Or at least, I’m going to take it there. At a hard-hitting 70 IBU, this IPA would stand up just fine to the usual suggestion of a spicy curry or something hot. That dank and herbal hoppiness would go great with a nice funky cloth-bound cheese, but even though I’m not posting many reviews these days, those have been done. I want to work with those flavours, but focus on that creamy rich mouthfeel. So here’s what you need to try it with: Menudo. Odds are, you probably don’t know what that is, but if you’re adventurous, it could be just the thing. It’s a Mexican soup, with a tomato/chilli base (so it’s still a spicy dish), but it’s made with beef tripe (referred to as stomach; it’s sometimes called “pancita” which roughly means “little stomach”), as well as hooves and tendons, so it is fatty, thick, and quite heavy. I don’t have a bowl of Menudo in front of me, but my guess is that the R-100 IPA is going to hold its own against a fairly rich, flavourful, and hearty soup, with the hops playing well with the spices, and the creaminess of the beer matching the richness of the soup. Now, where to find good Menudo in Toronto…..
About Muddy York
Here at Muddy York Brewing Co., we take a ‘less is more’ approach to brewing. We don’t look for the most unorthodox ingredients to get your attention; we let the flavour speak for itself. Remarkably drinkable and well balanced, our beers are handcrafted in small batches. We take pride in the details, because it’s the details that make good beers great.