Shimane Beer’s got a bunch of brews worth attention out there, so I was looking forward to their classic-looking IPA.

Shimane Beer IPA

The contents don’t belie the retro looks. It’s very cloudy, so much I wonder if it’s filtered at all. Pale amber with a minimal, tan head that leaves behind strong lacing.

Its appearance already suggests it’s not your usual IPA, and the nose doesn’t disprove that either. While it’s hoppy with an orange feel to it, it’s nowhere near as roughly fresh as usual. There’s also a sweet malt presence.

It’s got a thick body with medium carbonation. Compared to the nose, the role of malts and hops swap: the roasted caramel malts gain the upper hand against the orange hops. The hops’ rich aroma is subdued, with pretty much only their bitterness given any space.

The finish is sweet too, and the cocoa note stays to say goodbye.

It’s like a crossbreed of stout and pale ale with stout being dominant. I don’t know if this is what IPAs were like back in the old days, but it’s definitely not what you’d expect from a modern IPA.