One of the more interesting beer collaborations right now -- and there are quite few -- is between Boulevard and Deschutes. Together they've come up with a recipe they dub "white IPA", and they've both brewed it their own way.
Currently we have only tested Boulevard's entry at Blue Spark, and it's definitely what most would consider a professional brew, but I'm not so sure I love it. Like it a lot, yes, but I can't say I love it.
So what is a "white IPA"? It's pretty much a Belgian IPA, i.e. a mix of hoppy flavors flanked by a milder, spicier Belgian sensibility. As someone who prefers porters and stouts, that is not necessarily a dream combination for me, but I can respect the idea.
It pours a bleak hazy golden color with just a bit of head, nicely foamy. The nose reveals what many will consider a pretty glorious mix of spices and hops, with citric, florally hints.
This is a medium bodied beer, and very refreshing at that. The hops are fairly mild, and the spices probably hit up front more than anything. It melds over the tongue, slowly revealing the citric flavors, and the floral aftertaste gives the whole thing an almost feminine touch.
Boulevard has an amazingly well put-together beer here. I respect the product a whole lot. The only problem is that the flavor profile isn't entirely for me. Anyone who are fans of Belgians and IPAs -- and I know there are many -- will probably consider this the Holy Grail of ales.
I'm curious to try the Deschutes brewed version, if nothing else.