Perrin Brewing Company 98 Problems IPA (6.5% ABV)
Pour: 12oz. can into a tulip glass
Appearance: Pours a light copper color with a healthy amount of thick, persistent off-white head. Tons of lacing, good edging.
Aroma: A nice mix of sweeter malt notes like caramel and toffee, mixed with a citrus hops and a slight grassy note.
Taste: Mostly malts up front, but not of the sweet variety – a little biscuity if anything. Floral/piney hops starting in the mid-mouth and carrying through the finish. Moderately bitter aftertaste. Well-balanced and perfectly drinkable, bot not the most exciting IPA I’ve ever had.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied, lightly carbonated. Leaves a bit of a film on the teeth and tongue.
So back in April, I wrote about Comstock, Michigan’s Perrin Brewing Company for the first time, sampling their black ale, the not-cleverly named Black. If your memory doesn’t stretch back that far—and, full disclosure, I had to look it up to see what I said—I didn’t much care for it. But I did say that I’d reserve judgment on the brewery until I had the chance to try something else from them.
Well…I tried something else from them.
On their website, they describe 98 Problems IPA as “A serendipitous balance of North American and European specialty malts, paired with a lavish selection of West Coast hops; giving an intense, one – two punch to the uvula. Now with homegrown Michigan Cascade hops!” First off, credit where it’s due – that is one well-written description with some impressive vocabulary. Unfortunately, the beer doesn’t quite live up to the self-hype. Compared to the Black, this is a much better crafted and far more drinkable beer, and it definitely gets better the deeper I get into my glass. But given that ambitious description, it’s disappointingly non-complex, and given the specific mention of Michigan Cascade hops, I was expecting something with a bit more citrus in it as well.
I do wonder, though, if I would have appreciated this beer more had I not read their blurb. After all, it is a well-balanced, drinkable IPA. It just doesn’t seem to be the beer they say it is. Still, it’s decent enough that I’ll give Perrin at least one more chance to wow me.