Beer trades can be a great thing. They often allow you to have a taste of brews you normally wouldn't get to try. That's the case with these two IPA's from Mothers Brewing out of Springfield, Missouri. Usually I review one beer at a time, but since I received these two in one shipment I will look at them both simultaneously. These are two of the IPA's from this little brewery, one is called Lil' Helper and the other is called Trouble Maker. Lil' Helper is a standard IPA and Trouble Maker is a double IPA. Here we go:
Choose Your Vessel: Went with the 12oz Bell's Tulip glass for these two brews.
The Pour: Trouble maker poured an amber-ish orange, slightly hazy as well. Lil' Helper poured a nice golden orange. Both beers showcased a nice looking head with decent carbonation and the Lil' Helper had better lacing...pictured below. Both beers looked beautiful in the glass. Advantage: Lil Helper, seemed to have better lace retention throughout consumption.
Aroma: Lil' Helper for me had a nice aroma of citrus hops balanced with some sweet malt and biscuit aromas. Trouble maker was all floral hops for me. Further sniffing revealed the sweetness of candied citrus. Pretty big hop aromas with some complexity. Edge on aroma goes to the Trouble Maker.
Taste: Here's where we separate these two beers even further. The Lil' Helper tastes like a very nicely balanced IPA. Good hop bitterness. Citrus, Pine, earthiness with some good sweet malt to back it up. Nice bitter and clean finish. The Trouble Maker was somewhat all over the place for me. Has the nice floral hop flavors, but also getting malt and what seems to be a touch of honey sweetness followed by boozy notes. Edge goes here to Lil' Helper because it seemed to more complete.
Overall: The Lil' Helper was a nice standard IPA. Had balance in aroma and taste. Finished quite cleanly and really was a refreshing version of the typical IPA. Not quite as bitter as I like them, but really solid. The Trouble Maker bordered on a mess of flavors for me. I like the individual components of aroma and the complexity of the flavors, but there was a distinct booziness and honey sweetness in the finish that was slightly off-putting for me. Just didn't come together as a cohesive brew for me. The advantage here for me goes to the Lil' Helper. Both beers were good brews, no doubt, and I feel like the Trouble Maker could be something phenomenal with some more development. Hopefully I get the chance to try it down the road.
|Lil' Helper in glass|
|Lacing from the Lil'Helper....beautiful|