Russian River Brewing Co - Santa Rosa Janet's Brown Ale
What the brewers say
Caramel, toffee, chocolate, with a firm contribution of hop bitterness. JBA was Mike "Tasty" McDole's well known homebrew recipe that Mike shared with many homebrewers the world over.
What our panel thought
Smells like a pine forest after a spring rain. Fresh American hops aroma: herbal, floral, fresh, with touches of sweet orange, sandalwood, cherry, peach. Lots of hop flavor, but the bitterness is restrained and balanced. Toasty, smooth, layered malt complexity, light chocolate, low caramel. Somewhat dry. Just enough bitterness to balance. Fresh spruce tips linger. Overall impression of a softer, sweeter IPA. Very pleasant and satisfying.
What our editors thought
Classic American C-hops nose with a particularly sweet citrus element and a touch of underlying malt. The flavor is very soft, rolling in with chocolate and citrus notes that evolve more than attack, but it never veers too sweet. Hop-bitterness appears again in in the finish, nicely balanced against the malt for a subtle but intentional close.