Brewery: The Brew Kettle
Cost: ???? (12oz)
Glassware: Pint, Tulip
Availability: Various Times
Purchased@: Beer Trade Extra
Quick Take: I view White Rajah as Hopslam’s less tropical cousin, but with ramped up bitterness and a stronger grain finish. It isn’t built to wow, but it has a lot of flavor for a non-imperial IPA. Good beer I’d get again if I saw it regularly, but I’m not loading up the car for a brewery trip just yet.
Brew Facts: While the Brew Kettle produces its own beer and sells home brew supplies, they also have a “Brew on Premise” facility for you to produce your own homebrew. 70 recipes and assistance in merging the four elements of beer into a singular brew is an intriguing prospect. Cost ranges from $130-$160, which gets you kegs or 6 cases of 22 ouncers. For an additional fee, patrons can design labels for their concoction using clip art or personal images, such as a yeti sucker punching a falcon. Not a bad option for the homebrew curious that don’t plan on brewing more than one batch or want to put a personal touch on any beer-cassion.
Appearance: The pour gives rise to a creamy thick, finger high head that retains like a champ. It eventually fizzles down to soapy white foam-bergs that rest on top of a clear amber pool similar in appearance to Stone’s Enjoy By series. A white sheet of bubbles you could put a baby to bed with coats the glass on swirling.
Aroma: While the label claims malt has no place in this brew, a sniff finds a mango/lemon citrus and distinct malty resin sweet. The smell of hops does hit a flowery quality that suggests soapiness, but isn’t as heavily fragrant as something like lavender. Frankly, the smell is delectable. I take a few subsequent sniffs and notice a whiff of toasted grain. This beer’s got the looks and smells of an IPA I want inside me. Very promising start.
Taste/Mouth Feel: I hold the hope of beer love in my heart as I tentatively bring White Rajah to my lips. It’s appropriately carbonated, maybe a touch on the low side if I want to be overly critical, and has a thin-ish body (i.e.not quite medium, not quite watery). The body level is important because the flavors of honey and resin come through strong, to the point that anything thicker would get syrupy quick. The tongue also finds a fruit mix of sweeter orange and bitter, pine sol lemon that sticks around on the bitter finish, lingering with the grain notes. There actually is a mild, tangy malt presence and a touch of spicy heat as the beer warms. I’m not quite ready to say the “L” word, but more a beer you booty call after the bar closes.
Final Thoughts: I really have to give it to Slaughterama on Reddit for a pretty great beer trade. He hit me up with some great local Ohio brews I wouldn’t normally get the chance to try and all of them have been solid. White Rajah is no different. While this is a fine beer, I do find it difficult to get excited about it after having some fantastic IPAs in recent weeks (I’m looking at you Dinner). On the plus side, I view White Rajah as Hopslam’s less tropical cousin, but with ramped up bitterness and a stronger grain finish. It isn’t built to wow, but it has a lot of flavor for a non-imperial IPA. Good beer I’d get again if I saw it regularly, but I’m not loading up the car for a brewery trip just yet.