I couldn't wait any more, so I cracked into a bottle of this tonight. Carbonation is at a drinkable level, but still on the low side. The beer is hazy as hell.
The nose is big citrus. There's grapefruit and pineapple predominantly along with some peaches and a hint of pine. The aroma could stand to be a little bit more powerful, but I think once the carbonation level picks up that will change.
As soon as it hits the palate - POW! It's like drinking grapefruit juice with a shot of pineapple. The citrus is mouth-puckeringly potent. The beer itself is not tart, but boy does it ever play tricks on your palate from the massive impression of hops. The finish is more grapefruit, but then the stonefruit peach/plum character from the Meridian starts to show up a bit as well.
As the juiciness fades, the bittering level starts to show itself more. The bitterness is definitely there, but it isn't abrasive at all. I'd equate it to about 60 IBU's of FWH with no 60-minute addition. I sent off a sample for IBU testing, so it will be interesting what this one comes in at in the lab.
I'm sure the character will change somewhat once the carbonation picks up, but damn this is a good beer right now. It will also be interesting to see how the hop character changes over the course of a few months (if I can manage to save some for that long).
The citrus character is a bit overwhelming, so I'd probably cut the Nelson and/or swap out the Citra for something a bit more straight tropical as opposed to citrus-tropical next time. Maybe Galaxy or El Dorado. I'm glad I didn't use any Crystal malt because this wouldn't be as enjoyable if it was sweet. I'm picking up almost no malt character. I might try turning up the volume on the malt just a bit. I'm thinking maybe using Aromatic instead of Victory next time. And regardless of what the lab tells me, the impression of bitterness could come up a notch or two. I might do a small 20-25 IBU addition of Columbus at 60 minutes.
I will definitely be developing this further as my standard IPA recipe. Hop flavor is off the charts and I think 2 oz/gallon for dry hops is at or above the point of diminishing returns. The only thing I'd consider changing with dry hops would be to split them into 2 separate additions to see if that pushes the aroma even higher.
I'm definitely looking forward to trying this using hops that push the dank/piney side of things more to see how that turns out. If fruity hops = fruit juice IPA, what will Chinook/Simcoe/Columbus give you?