Archive for the category “IPA”

3XIPA – Device Brewing Company

3x_label10.5% ABV
Purchased at Capitol Beer and Tap Room ($7/13 oz. pour) and served in tulip glasses.

This debut beer from Sacramento newbie Device Brewing Company pours a clear, honey gold with a tight, off-white head.  The nose offers the sweet smells of wet grass, pears, and other stone fruits drizzled in honey, and the first swallow indicates that same sort of sweet character is ahead.  That initial impression quickly gives way to a hop bitterness that is mostly herbal and piney in nature, with a browned toast touch to the aftertaste.  3XIPA gets grassier on subsequent swallows, with a dose of alcohol burn entering the profile towards the end, although it remains fairly honeyed throughout.  Device is only brewing four styles out of the gate in order to hone their technique, and that attention to detail is evident in this promising triple IPA.

toasts-3.5   3.5 Toasts

Device3XIPA

toasts-4   4 Toasts

POPULIST IPA – Eagle Rock Brewing

populist_bttl7% ABV
Purchased at Sunset Beer Company in Los Angeles’ Echo Park neighborhood ($5.79/22 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

This beautiful IPA from Eagle Rock Brewing pours a slightly hazy tangerine with a mid-sized white head and the nose of an open field, offering some lovely floral and honeyed pear aromas.  It is very clean on the first swallow, as restrained fruit syrup-style sweetness and a little bit of spice nicely balances out the bitter hop profile.  The finish is exceptionally smooth, with BBQ-ed peach and grapefruit rind flavors lingering on the palette.  Populist IPA is flat-out delicious – it’s flavorful up front and crisp on the finish, with predominantly jam and toast flavors eventually giving way to a nesting pine character.

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

Populist

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

Melrose – Beachwood Brewing

Beachwood_mel_bttlSoCal Beercation Edition

7.1% ABV
Purchased at Bottlecraft in San Diego ($8.75/22 oz. bottle) and poured into lowball hotel glasses.

Long Beach-based Beachwood’s complex and quaffable Melrose IPA pours a clear, light-honey gold with a wee off-white head and a fair amount of bubble agitation in the body.  The nose rockets out of the bottle upon the crack of the cap – magnificent, flowery, frosted-hop aromas, a little grass and funk, and melon zest aromas make you want to dive right in.  Pine and leaf flavors dominate the first swallow, fading into a restrained, rind-like bitterness that combines melon and grapefruit. This well-balanced beer offers more citrus on subsequent swallows, including unripe oranges and a little lemon, but it is a cracker-dusted grapefruit flavor that eventually settles on the palette.

toasts-4   4 Toasts

Melrose

toasts-4   4 Toasts

Centennial IPA – Founders Brewing Co.

founders_CentIPA7.2% ABV, 65 IBUs
Purchased by beer sherpa Matt S. in the State of Michigan and served in taster glasses.

This highly lauded IPA is from Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Founders, a brewery that rarely if ever makes an appearance on Sacramento-area taplists and bottle shop shelves.  Their Centennial IPA – named after the brew’s primary hop source – pours a deep honey gold with a minimal eggshell-white head.  Big citrus and floral notes come off the nose, but it’s still a more restrained aroma than one would get from a West Coast IPA.  The first swallow offers a mixture of citrus and rye spice up front, a fantastic frosted hops flavor in the magnificently dry middle third, and a polite wallop of pine resin and citrus peel on the impressive finish.  Centennial IPA is a beer that tells a story, going through numerous phases and hitting several different notes, all of them true.

toasts-4.5    4.5 Toasts

Founders_CentIPA

toasts-4.5    4.5 Toasts

 

Stone Ruin-Ten IPA

ruinten_bttl10.8% ABV 
Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe ($7.50/10 oz. serving) and poured into globe glasses.

This super-hopped, 10th-anniversary version of Stone’s popular Ruination Double IPA was intended as a one-off, but has now become part of their seasonal rotation.  Ruin-Ten pours a bruised peach with a tight, off-white head and a delicious nose of candied citrus, snowy pine, and butter crackers.  I’m not a big fan of the standard, diesel-hop iteration of Ruination, but this version tastes both stronger and cleaner, giving caramel and pine resin nuances to the crushing hoppiness.  Alcohol-soaked oranges and a moderated sweetness give way to the expected palate-smashing resin bitterness.  Slight hints of fresh peppermint, burnt caramel, and spicy hops come and go on the tongue, but there is a lasting and consistent impression of pine needles.

toasts-4   4 Toasts

StoneRuin10

toasts-3.5   3.5 Toasts

Hoppy Daze – Coronado Brewing Company

hoppydaze_bttl7.5% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe ($7.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

This “Belgian-style IPA” from San Diego-based Coronado pours a cloudy gold with a lovely white head and a curious nose of citrus, green tea, and roots.  Very flowery up front – fresh grass and dandelions – with a very obvious hop presence, although it fades out with some of those green tea and root flavors suggested in the nose.  I don’t quite understand what is especially “Belgian” about this beer – it has more herbal tones than the quasi-tropical nature I associate with the pale beers of the region.  But don’t be discouraged by this case of mistaken identity – Hoppy Daze is still an original and pretty damn good to boot, offering an oddly satisfying mix of pink bubblegum, sasparilla root, and grass.

toasts-4    4 Toasts

HoppyDaze_Coronado

toasts-4

    4 Toasts

Simtra (Knee Deep Brewing Company)

10.1% ABV, 131 IBUs
Gifted by Knee Deep and poured into tulip glasses.

His Notes:

Simtra is the Triple IPA relative of Lincoln-based Knee Deep’s award-winning Hoptologist DIPA.  It pours a pale gold with a tight white head, and has a surprisingly sweet nose of cotton candy, citrus fruits, and spruce needles.  Much like Hoptologist, there is little in the way of traditional west coast IPA hop/pine/citrus/floral flavors here. Instead, Simtra is dry and cracker-like on the tongue, with dusky spices and an almost wormwood-like twist to the finish.  The hops are dank and chewy, and despite the triple-digit IBUs, this beer doesn’t crush you with bitterness – it insinuates and distracts you with its unique flavor profile while quietly coating your mouth with delectable hops.

  4 Toasts

Her Notes:

  4 Toasts


Whitewater IPA (Samuel Adams)

5.8% ABV
Purchased at Target ($12.99/12-pack) as part of the Samuel Adams Brewmaster Series and poured into pint glasses.

His Notes:

Whitewater IPA pours cantaloupe orange with a tight white head, and it has the pungent smell of zesty citrus and apricots.  Wildly bitter grapefruit citrus socks you on the palette, but it eventually mellows into dried apricot and lemon flavors.  It has the light and chewy quality of dehydrated fruit, but I wouldn’t exactly call it a “dry” or “crisp”.  There is intense and bitter citrus in the manner of a hop-bomb IPA, but I wouldn’t even call the flavor “hoppy”.  Curiosity is this brew’s greatest asset, yet novelty (especially the addition of apricots during the brewing process) and relative riskiness aside, Whitewater IPA isn’t a particularly tasteful or interesting beer.

  2 1/2 Toasts

Her Notes:

  2 Toasts


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