Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Tasting : Visually Impaired Sow (Russian River Blind Pig clone)

Even though I've had Russian River's Blind Pig IPA two or three times, I really didn't know what to expect when I brewed this clone in late June. It's probably been at least two years since I've had Blind Pig; I know I really liked it, but I can't remember specifics. So, when I saw the clone recipe posted in Zymurgy, it immediately went in the top section of my list of IPA clones to brew. Even if the results weren't the exact same as Blind Pig, I could tell by looking at the recipe that it would make a tasty beer.

And it did. The result was an American IPA with a healthy amount of hop aroma and flavor, moderate (but extremely smooth) bitterness in the finish, yet some definite malt character in the background. The body is also a bit fuller than a lot of other American IPAs out there now, but it's not chewy. I think I was expecting more hop character in this beer than I got, but the hop amounts in this beer really aren't that crazy. A bit of bittering, a small amount of Amarillo at 30 minutes (which I screwed up and added at 60 minutes... obviously any bit of flavor from that would be next to nothing), and 2 oz of several hops total at flameout. Follow that with 2 oz of dry-hopping... a healthy amount of hops, but not DIPA territory for sure.

The first few bottles struck me as hoppier, overall, but it's settled quickly into a very easy-drinking American IPA. Definitely a tasty recipe; recommended to anyone out there looking for a new IPA to brew, whether you've had Blind Pig or not.

Not as dark as the picture makes it look
Appearance: Pours with a moderate-large, white creamy head that shows very good retention; finally fades to about 1/4-1/2 finger and stays there. Body is golden-colored, with extremely good clarity.

Aroma: Strong hop aroma (but maybe not as strong as I expected)... citrus and tropical, mainly. A bit of dankness in there, too. A touch of sweet malt character, but it’s very light. No diacetyl.

Taste: The hops dominate, of course, again, coming through with a lot of citrus and tropical character, followed by that bit of dankness. Medium bitterness in the finish; mostly dry, but it’s got a bit of sweetness there, too. Quite smooth.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Very nice. I was expecting a bit more hop character (the first couple bottles seemed to have more), but I like how easy-drinking it is. The higher mash temp really helped increase the body (it’s close to medium-full) and leave a bit more malt character. Nice hop presence... an IPA I think that non-IPA drinkers would be able to enjoy, and maybe open up to bigger things.


  1. Nice work detailing out your brew day and tasting notes. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through it. I'll be brewing this recipe soon. Cheers!

    1. Oops, I somehow missed this comment... but, thanks!

  2. I will be giving this a try next. Thanks!