Tasting Notes: Mangrove Double IPA from 7venth Sun Brewery

7venthmangrovepour_editedFor our first installment of Tasting Notes in 2019, we are recognizing the 7venth Anniversary of 7venth Sun Brewery (Dunedin & Tampa, Florida) in our own little way by taking a look at one of their long-standing Core offerings, Mangrove Double IPA.

Crafted to be nothing more than a massive, old school, in-your-face representation of the style, Mangrove is a Double India Pale Ale loaded with Amarillo, Simcoe and Columbus hops.  Palate bruising in nature, Mangrove weighs in at a crushing 10% ABV.

Mangrove is typically available Year-Round on draft at both 7venth Sun locations and occasionally available in 4-packs of 12 oz. cans.

With that sparse amount of background information now out of the way, I do believe it is finally time to test the waters and explore this Mangrove with some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Mangrove Double IPA from 7venth Sun Brewery

Appearance: This Double IPA is a bright burnt orange to amber in color and is wearing right at a finger of frothy, pure white foam.  When held to direct light, vibrancy grows to produce more sunburst orange tones surrounding a darker amber core.  The beer is more dark and blurry than hazy, but light is still allowed to easily pass through to offer a semblance of clarity.  Retention is fair, but the remaining chunky ring puts in some nice work as it notches the glass after each sip.

Aroma:  The hops have certainly come to play as this thing opens with a punchy burst of citrus (grapefruit, orange and lemon mostly), pine, light spice, and a whisper of earthiness.  Pale malts and a touch of clean grain are present, but they translate as less sweet and more supportive of that hop-sourced spice and earthiness.

Taste:  Not much unlike the nose, the flavor is beautifully hop-driven with fruity notes of sweet orange, a bright bracing bite of grapefruit, freshly zested lemons, and just a sliver of pineapple.  Pine then surfaces to add some attention-seeking resiny goodness, but it is nicely tempered by a caramel malt presence that gently and oh so carefully embraces the profile to smooth everything right out.

Mouthfeel:  Medium in body with a medium carbonation level, this brew is rich with hop oils that pleasantly saturate and coat the palate.  Although it is nice and sticky, it still has the ability to – in due time – dry out nicely.  The malts might bring some sweetness near the finish, but this beer is not at all shy about the fact that it leans heavily toward the bitter/hoppy side.  Without even a hint of heat or burn, the 10% ABV is incredibly well-hidden and deceiving.  The aftertaste is a good mix of citrus and resinous pine.

Final Thoughts: Without a doubt, the greatest thing about Mangrove Double IPA is that it is always there – at either 7venth Sun location – to remind the grizzled old hopheads like myself of why we fell in love with hops long before hype blurred the lines with New England/Hazy/Juicy/Milkshake/etc. IPAs.  With a statement like that, I realize that I should probably ask that you please excuse my “get off my lawn” moment. You see, I honestly do believe those shiny new IPA thingies have a place in the craft beer community.  Hell, I have enjoyed more than my share, but I also quite often find myself missing bitterness in my IPAs/DIPAs . . . and that is when I turn to a beer like Mangrove.

This DIPA explores all aspects of the hops utilized in its recipe by showcasing their juicy qualities (not to mention piney, floral, earthy and spicy notes as well) alongside that intensely exhilarating hoppy bite.  With that said, expert craftsmanship keeps things from getting out of hand by finding a sweet – but not too sweet – spot of contrasting maltiness. Not just present to supply body, these malts also impart flavor and balance so that the finished beer will remain dynamic but still easy-drinking. Perfection is damn near a requirement to pull off a beer like Mangrove, and that is why it demands your respect and still carries a torch for those hoppy beers of old.  Steadfast in its mission, Mangrove Double IPA is patiently waiting for you.  Be sure to check it out if you get the chance.  Prost!