A couple weeks ago I was talking to a brewery in Los Angeles, and another in Mexico. And somehow a picture came to my mind. A shelf with many jars of different tinctures (aromatics in alcohol). A jar with a Buddha Hand, another with spices, a small bottle of aromatic bitters, and more.
This shelf is in the brewery where Ramon is the head brewer. I fired off a casual note, "How'd you like to make a beer together?" And I gave him an idea. He answered - he liked the idea, but this beer should be unique - even unusual. After some back and forth discussion, we agreed. A White IPA with Juniper. I recommended the hops be mostly restrained hop bursting - and the pine and aromatics from the juniper fill out the flavors and aromatics to IPA levels. Ramon recommended that the Juniper must be the strong backbone for the aromatics.
So I tasted a Spanish gin to get a feel for Juniper and other aromatics, the balance familiar to a Spanish palate. Wonderful Gin. Even more wonderful, the complexity and balance of the bouquet of aromatics complimenting the juniper. I chose three other aromatics to support the juniper, and three flavor and aroma hops to paint the appropriate background. Then I crafted an American Wheat Ale as the canvas to present the flavors and aromas.
This White Ale should be very pale, light in body, crisply refreshing with a restrained bitterness. The juniper characters should burst from the glass, balanced and supported by floral, citrus, and herbal contributions from the other spices and the hops used in late "bursting" additions.
Going into the fermenter, the wort was alive with intoxicating aromatics. I am pretty confident that the finished beer will deliver what the product of the kettle was promising. How about a few photos?