IPA #2 from Rob at The Perfect Pint Project: “White Rajah” by The Brew Kettle in Strongsville, Ohio. I liked this one a little bit more than the Hop Juju I reviewed last week. White Rajah is very similarly advertised, and tastes very similar as well. But in my opinion, as is the case with the Hop Juju, it does not taste as advertised. The citrus and tropical fruit flavors do exist here, but the flavor is dominated by resin, pine, grass, and other forms of leafy vegetation with a strong, pronounced, bitterness erection just pounding away at your taste buds like Peter North in his prime. After drinking this and taking my own notes I took to the Internet to see what others think. I have to admit, the results were torn. Some report the sweet and juicy fruit flavors, while others were aligned with my take, to the T. And since my word is the law of the beer land (at least in my head it is) anyone whose opinion deviates from mine is just full of crap.
“Rajah” (also spelled “Raja”) is a Sanskrit term for a princely ruler of a kingdom, derived from the monarchy. It has a long history in Southeast Asia, and that’s all I’m going to write regarding this tangential social study, because I started to do some extensive research on the etymological history of the word, and unless I simply did not get far enough, reading about it was less fulfilling than watching old people sleep. I read nothing about Indian orgies or fierce khanda battles resulting in blood-soaked lands, so I gave up before passing out with boredom and planting my face into my keyboard.
White Rajah is bright gold and clear, with a busy horde of small bubbles spiraling and weaving their way to the surface. The head is bright white, cottony, and fairly resilient. So, the appearance isn’t either special or damning. The aroma is good but not fantastic. Then again, I am comparing this to the Hop Juju, so that’s a bit unfair. I predict this phase of explosive wet dreams regarding the aroma of Hop Juju will end in at least 63 months. Anyway, White Rajah’s aroma consists of spicy, piney, hops, malt and sweet, tropical fruits. The taste was quite inclusive of a nice variety of flavors. The initial confrontation is butter, pine, grass, grains, sweet melons, a pinch of malt; and finishes with garlic, buttered popcorn and onions. Its aftertaste is similar to the Hop Juju with a strong emphasis on resinous bitterness, but it’s a tad smoother and softer on the palate. Its texture is creamy, not quite as oily as the Hop Juju, and goes down with a silky smooth ease. Lacing is below average with nothing interesting to report.
As is the case with the Hop JuJu, this one is very unique. Its signature was the sweet and delightfully appropriate onion and garlic flavors. This one is a bit creamier and the aftertaste, while similar to the JuJu in flavor, is a tad softer. But make no mistake about it, the bitterness is pronounced here. I would have guessed this to be a 90 IBU’er, but it’s a 70. I hope I can get the opportunity to stock up on this again and see if perhaps I pick up more of those citrus and sweet melon flavors.
Do yourself a favor and check out The Brew Kettle. They not only are known for some high quality signatures, they also offer an experience where you can brew their beer recipes for yourself! To me that’s the perfect date. It beats those pottery classes, or those “sip wine while painting a vomit colored flower in the hand of a toddler” events, although I will admit: those have had a 100% success rate of getting me in the sack. Damn, those are cool. I need to find a doxy that will go to one of these brew classes with me. When/if I find one who enjoys it, I will just go ahead and categorize her as the next ex-Mrs. Deltoid.