By Julia Burke, Beer Editor
While discovering several great beer spots on a trip to Rochester last week, I was given a sample bottle of this house IPA (they had run out of the draught version) at The Old Toad after two of the bartenders raved about it. I had never heard bar staff talk about a house beer with such enthusiasm, but barkeep Rob Adamthwaite assured me it was a must-try: “We went through six kegs in the first week!”
Made by Custom Brewcrafters in Honeoye Falls, NY in commemoration of the beloved pub’s 20th anniversary, OT 20 features Citra hops, a fairly new, high alpha-acid (10-12%) variety designed in 2008 that is known for releasing particularly fruity aromas.
OT 20 in the glass is a hazy summer-sunset orange with a two-finger head and excellent, firm lacing which remains fully intact throughout consumption.
The nose presents a lovely bouquet of particularly apricot/pineapple/peach/mango-y hops, with a touch of yeast esters, and a bit of caramel from a faint but assertive malt presence.
The mouthfeel shows nice layering -- the hops come in waves, filling out on the mid-palate but razor-sharp on the back palate, leaving a finish that persists for quite some time.
This is one solid IPA made with love for a bar staffed with certified hop-heads.
As far as I’m concerned, mouthfeel is where an IPA sinks or swims, and this one does a butterfly-stroke on the palate. A welcome effort made from a Finger Lakes brewery for a fantastic pub.
Producer: Custom Brewcrafters for The Old Toad Pub
Sample Size: 25 oz. bottle (750 mL) (Normally on draught)
Stemware: Pint glass
Availability: Specialty/Pub Draught
Online wine store: Buy 6 or more bottles and get 1/2 off shipping with coupon code "lenn92"