Tagged: ipa

Petoskey Brewing Mind’s Eye PA

MIND’S EYE PA: 66 Points

IPA of the 90's

This IPA needs some love

This IPA is released in 16 oz. cans.

Brewer’s Description: “Burnt copper color and giant hop aroma come to the forefront in this traditional IPA. Rich caramel malt and red wheat balance the dry bitter finish.

My Description: Did they even taste this beer before they released it? What’s the deal with the crappy quality of ingredients and the terrible execution? This beer just seems like they had old ingredients that they didn’t want to throw away and instead made me spend my money on this joke of an IPA. It begins with a large, light beige colored head that lasts the whole way leaving behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is pleasant enough but soft with notes of sweet malt and citrus hops. Mind’s Eye PA is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile does not blend cleanly; stale hop notes intertwine bluntly with the caramel malt notes. This is not a smooth beer. The hops taste old, the flow is harsh, and the aftertaste is not satisfying. This beer seems like it was made by some amateurs. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with whatever blocks the taste of this beer.

ABV: 6.7% Color: Brown/Red Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 6.5/10

Dogfish Head Romantic Chemistry

ROMANTIC CHEMISTRY: 90 Points

It's in the air

It’s in the air

This Fruit IPA is released seasonally in February in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “What you have here is a serious India Pale Ale shacking up and hunkering down with mango and apricots. At the same time! Romantic Chemistry is brewed with an intermingling of mangos, apricots and ginger, and then dry-hopped with three varieties of hops to deliver a tropical fruit aroma and a hop-forward finish. It’s fruity, it’s hoppy, it’s tasty!”

My Description: The balance of flavors and bitterness in this beer should be noted because it is executed beautifully. This ale begins with a decent sized, off-white colored head that lingers for some time leaving behind some spotty lacing. The aroma is pleasant with lots of tropical fruit notes coming through like mangoes along with a touch of ginger and some citrus hops. Romantic Chemistry is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is pleasant but not as bright as the description would indicate. The fruit notes of mangoes and apricots can be detected but are subtle. However, they do blend cleanly with the rest of the beer and become more apparent as it warms up. Caramel malts and earthy hops are also present along with some ginger undertones. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with lingering tropical notes. Overall, this is a great beer that is refreshing with a soft presence and tasty flavors. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with cheesecake, fruit tarts, or soft cheeses.

ABV: 7.2% Color: Orange/Amber Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10

Ballast Point Pineapple Sculpin

PINEAPPLE SCULPIN: 98 Points

Extra Tropical

Extra Tropical

This IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Our Pineapple Sculpin IPA came from one of many small-batch cask experiments to enhance the flavor of our signature IPA. With so many tropical hop notes in Sculpin, how could we not try adding some sweet, juicy pineapple? The combination of fruity flavors and hop intensity definitely packs a punch.”

My Description: This beer is amazingly clean and easy drinking. It makes for a great choice when craving an IPA that is more on the tropical side. It begins with a large, white colored head with an excellent retention level that leaves behind a great amount of lacing. The aroma is definitely centered on tropical notes with pineapples standing out the most along with notes of citrus hops and a touch of mangoes. Pineapple Sculpin is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is satisfying with bready malt notes blending smoothly with the citrus hop notes. There are also notes of woodsy hops, melon, pineapple, and a hint of tropical fruits. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and lingers for some time. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with coconut shrimp, spicy Thai noodles, or cheesecake.

ABV: 7% Color: Gold Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 5.5/10

Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin

HABANERO SCULPIN: 93 Points

Let the spice in

Let the spice in

This Specialty IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Our Sculpin IPA with Habanero Pepper began as a crazy experiment that’s taken on a life of its own. While its bright fruit notes and hoppy bite has made the original one of our favorites, this version takes that balance of flavors to the next level with the citrusy, floral heat of habaneros. Sculpin are known to sting, but this one’s got a kick.”

My Description: This is a fun beer to drink because the IPA base is delicious and the addition of habaneros gives it an interesting character. However, after some time the heat does begin to dominate the flavor profile but never becomes too potent. It begins with a good sized, off-white colored head with a great retention level that leaves an excellent amount of lacing. The aroma is pleasant with notes of grapefruit hops, pine hops, and hot peppers; the hops smell real fresh. Habanero Sculpin is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile gets better as it warms up, the flavors just seem to blend cleaner. There are notes of citrus hops, tropical hops, pale malts, and of course habanero. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with lingering hot spice notes. Overall, this is a great IPA for those spice lovers. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with Basmati rice, curry chicken, or jerk seasoned shrimp.

ABV: 7% Color: Orange/Copper Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 5/10

Clown Shoes Galactica

GALACTICA: 91 Points

A tropical galaxy

A tropical galaxy

This IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Galactica, a hop staff wielding heroine, patrols in karate kick mode through the heavens. Her mission: cosmic combat to promote good beer. Dry hopped with Galaxy hops, a clean malt backbone enhances the dank and luscious IPA flavors.”

My Description: The description of the “hop staff wielding heroine” is super lame but the beer makes up for it. It begins with a good sized, off-white colored head that fades to a thin film that holds the whole way leaving behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming with an overall tropical presence and notes of citrus hops, pale malts, and hints of light fruits. Galactica is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile showcases the Galaxy hop nicely by delivering tropical fruit notes like pineapples and mangoes. There are also notes of pale malts, pine hops, citrus hops, and some caramel as well. The alcohol is nicely hidden and the aftertaste is moderately bitter with lingering resiny hop notes. This is a clean and enjoyable IPA. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with Thai noodles, spicy shrimp tacos, or jerk chicken.

ABV: 8% Color: Hazy Orange Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 5.5/10

Boulevard Heavy Lifting

HEAVY LIFTING: 94 Points

Lots of flavors

Lots of flavors

This IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. cans.

Brewer’s Description: “Heavy Lifting is our newest year-round beer based on our popular Tasting Room beer Mid-Coast IPA. Mid-Coast became a favorite among hopheads for its big, bold hop presence. Heavy Lifting takes that legacy further in fine style, exploding with flavor and a huge helping of five remarkably zesty and piney hops (Centennial, Citra, Amarillo, Topaz and Cascade).”

My Description: This is the IPA for those who love the hop flavors without it being overly bitter. It begins with a good sized, white colored head with an excellent retention level that looks like a pillow the whole way leaving behind a wall of lacing. The aroma is welcoming and citrus forward with notes of grapefruit hops, pineapple, stone fruits, and a hint of woodsy hops. Heavy Lifting is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is slightly complex with delicious fruit hop notes like peaches along with some tropical notes as well. Bready malt notes help bring balance and hints of pine hops keep it interesting. The aftertaste is moderatley low in bitterness making this IPA more about the hop flavors than about the IBU. Overall, this beer is very smooth and a pleasure to drink. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with jerk chicken, fried shrimp, or a spicy salad.

ABV: 6.2% Color: Hazy Gold Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 4/10

Founders Azacca

AZACCA: 90 Points

Delightful aroma

Delightful aroma

This IPA is released as a seasonal in the Winter months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Named for the Haitian god of agriculture, the Azacca hop boasts intense, tropical fruit notes. Azacca IPA includes a touch of caramel malt to provide a sweet backbone to the citrus, mango and orchard fruit notes in this 7% ABV, 70 IBUs beer. The label artwork symbolizes the god of agriculture watching over a field where the ingredients used to make the beer are being grown.”

My Description: The Azacca hop is a nice addition the the hop library providing enjoyable tropical notes. This IPA begins with a large, off-white colored head with an excellent retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind an abundant amount of lacing. The aroma is the best part of this beer, the hops smell so fresh and potent with huge notes of mangoes, citrus hops, and other tropical notes. Azacca is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile isn’t as potent as the aroma but tasty none-the-less. A mild caramel malt backbone holds up notes of tropical hops, citrus hops, and a hint of woodsy hops. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with lingering mango notes. Overall, this IPA is very smooth and clean with nice flavors. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with coconut shrimp, Hawaiian pizza, or jerk chicken.

ABV: 7% Color: Dark Orange Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 5/10

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin

GRAPEFRUIT SCULPIN: 97 Points

Grapefruit Monster

Grapefruit Monster

This American IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. cans and bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Our award-winning IPA, with a citrus twist. Our Grapefruit Sculpin is the latest take on our signature IPA. Some may say there are few ways to improve Sculpin’s unique flavor, but the tart freshness of grapefruit perfectly complements our IPA’s citrusy hop character. Grapefruit’s a winter fruit, but this easy-drinking ale tastes like summer.”

My Description: What a beautifully balanced beer that is delicious and the grapefruit never becomes cloying or overpowering. It begins with a good sized, off-white colored head with an excellent retention level that leaves behind a great amount of lacing. You immediately understand why they call it Grapefruit Sculpin when you first smell this beer because it is a grapefruit bomb along with notes of citrus hops and pale malts with a hint of tart. This ale is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile follows the nose closely with massive grapefruit notes along with citrus hops, bready malts, and hints of tropical fruits. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with lingering grapefruit notes. The texture is smooth and overall this beer is refreshing and clean. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with basmati rice, coconut shrimp, or jerk chicken.

ABV: 7% Color: Orange/Brown Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 5.5/10

North Peak Hooligan

HOOLIGAN: 81 Points

Unbalanced

Unbalanced

This Pumpkin Ale is released seasonally in October in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “North Peak Hoodoo MidWest Wet Hop IPA is brewed with fresh from the farm Michigan hops for exceptional flavor. Hoodoo is hops from start to finish with a little malt in the middle.”

My Description: It begins with a large, off-white colored head with an excellent retention level that leaves behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is pleasant with notes of cloves, pumpkins, malt, cinnamon, and a hint of tart. Hooligan is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is unbalanced in that the pine and citrus hops completely dominate the other flavors making them faint at best. Those notes would consist of faint spice notes and a hint of pumpkin. While I enjoy a bitter beer, I would like a pumpkin beer to have a bit more flavor and depth than just big hop notes. None-the-less it is still a pleasant and enjoyable beer but nothing special in the Autumn seasonal department. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled sausage, spicy dishes, or baked squash.

ABV: 5.5% Color: Golden/Orange Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 5.5/10

North Peak Diabolical

DIABOLICAL: 80 Points

Nothing Special

Nothing Special

This IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “An aggressively hopped IPA, with a nice caramel sweetness. This brew features multiple hop additions (including local Cascade, Chinook & Willamette) which provide an abundance of flavor & aroma. Citrus, pine, mint, and floral notes can’t be missed while enjoying this North Peak flagship beer.”

My Description: North Peak has created the quintessential average IPA; it is not exactly smooth, the flavor profile is mediocre, and overall it is not memorable. It begins with a large, white colored head with an excellent retention level that leaves behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming with notes of pine hops, citrus hops, and a hint of caramel malt. Diabolical is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor notes in this beer don’t blend cleanly together. Notes of caramel malt seem to battle the pine hops notes instead of working harmoniously together, plus the overall presence of this beer seems amateur. An additional note of citrus hops makes an appearance from time to time but it doesn’t necessarily add any pleasure to drinking this beer. It’s not a horrible IPA but I wouldn’t buy it again. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with burgers, deep dish pizza, or blue cheese.

ABV: 6.66% Color: Orange Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 6/10

Dragonmead Crown Jewels

CROWN JEWELS: 75 Points

No need to save these

No need to pass these on

This English IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: N/A

My Description: You think a beer named Crown Jewels would be of world class caliber but I guess these aren’t they royal crown jewels. It begins with a weak, off-white colored head that fades quick to a film that leaves no lacing. The aroma is probably the best part of the beer. Notes of noble hops and woodsy hops blend smoothly with biscuit malt; this aroma is very welcoming. Crown Jewels is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is a let down in that the flavors do not blend cleanly and some alcohol notes do come through. There are notes of caramel malt, noble hops, and a hint of dark fruit but overall this beer is basically just a noticeable sweet undertone that transitions into a moderately bitter aftertaste rather abruptly. I find this to me a mediocre representation of an English IPA that is not memorable. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with smoked ham, baked chicken, or baked brussel sprouts.

ABV: 7% Color: Orange/Amber Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 5.5/10

Muskoka Brewery Mad Tom

MAD TOM: 92 Points

Grapefruit Bomb

Grapefruit Bomb

This IPA is available year-round in 11.5 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Inspired by late night stories around the fire, Muskoka Mad Tom will instantly grab your attentnion. Dry-hopped with Chinook and Centennial hops, this IPA has a vibrant aroma, depth of flavour and crisp citrusy undertow like no other. So brace yourself, and crack one open for old Mad Tom.”

My Description: This is very smooth and flavorful IPA that is easy drinking. It begins with a decent, off-white colored head that fades to a film that holds the whole way leaving behind some spotty lacing. The aroma is welcoming with potent citrus hop notes along with notes of grapefruit, malt, and herbs. Mad Tom is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is balanced nicely for an IPA; a solid malt presence and grain undertones set the foundation for the strong grapefruit hop notes. This ale showcases the citrus hops for sure, but there is also an herbal presence and a hint of pine hops to add character. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and very clean. Overall, if you love citrus hops this will be extremely satisfying. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with a deep dish pizza, Thai noodles, or potent cheeses.

ABV: 6.4% Color: Hazy Gold/Honey Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 5.5/10

Muskoka Brewery Detour

DETOUR: 90 Points

I'd stop here

I’d stop here

This Session IPA is available year-round in 11.5 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Muskoka Detour is a 4.3% abv ale described as a “sessionable IPA” with a “rewarding aroma and big hop flavours.”

My Description: Muskoka has delivered an easy drinking beer that doesn’t sacrifice flavor and body. It pours a decent sized, white colored head that lasts the whole way leaving behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma smells clean and inviting with notes of tropical and citrus hops along with a hint of spice. Detour is light/medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is enjoyable with notes of citrus hops and a hint of herbal hops. Pale malt notes can also be detected. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and satisfying. This is a nicely executed session IPA. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled jerk chicken, Thai noodles, or a spicy salad.

ABV: 4.3% Color: Hazy Gold Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 4.5/10

Frankenmuth Brewery Batch 69

BATCH 69: 79 Points

Should have gone with the next batch

Should have gone with the next batch

This American IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “A medium light bodied India Pale Ale with an intense hop aroma and flavor. This IPA will wake up your senses to fine American hops to discover tastes of citrus, flowers and pine.”

My Description: I understand they were going for a “Midwest” IPA but they damn near left the West Coast completely out of it. It begins with a large, off-white colored head with an excellent retention that leaves behind a great amount of lacing. The aroma is rather weak with subdued floral hop notes, there is also a bready malt note. The bottle says American IPA, not English IPA, so I was expecting big hop notes. Batch 69 is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile follows the direction of the nose by being subdued. Notes of citrus hops and pine hops can be detected along with a noticeable malt backbone. The alcohol is nicely hidden and the aftertaste is moderately bitter. There is absolutely nothing special about this beer and overall it is rather bland by AIPA standards. Still, it is easy drinking and there are no major flaws. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled pork chops, spicy Thai noodles, or a deep dish pizza.

ABV: 6.9% Color: Orange Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 4.5/10

Oddside Ales Pineapple IPA

PINEAPPLE IPA: 85 Points

Potent Pineapple Notes

Potent Pineapple Notes

This fruit IPA is available in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Fresh cut pineapples brewed in an IPA…need I say more?”

My Description: It begins with a good sized, off-white colored head that fades to a film that holds the whole way leaving behind some lacing. The aroma bursts with fresh pineapple notes that smell delightful along with some tropical notes, citrus hops, and a hint of malt. The aroma is the best part of this beer. Pineapple IPA is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile follows the nose nicely with pineapple notes being dominant along with some malt notes and a hint of citrus hops. The aftertaste is moderately low in bitterness and lingers slightly. This beer is smooth, pleasant, and a great Summer choice but I feel it would help the overall drinkability to calm the pineapple down some, so it is more of an accompanying note or make this beer more bitter. After drinking this I didn’t really want to drink another one right away. Still, I do recommend this for the IPA fan. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled shrimp, Thai noodles, or a salad.

ABV: 6.5% Color: Cloudy Orange Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 4/10

Oskar Blues Pinner Throwback IPA

PINNER THROWBACK IPA: 90 Points

Roll it up!

Roll it up!

This Session IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. cans.

Brewer’s Description: “How do you cram as much hop & malt flavor and aroma as possible into a beer but make it crushable too? That’s the challenge we answered with PINNER Throwback IPA. At 4.9% ABV and 35 IBUs, this drinkable IPA uses several varieties of hops to target the ever-evolving flavor. With tropical fruits, citrus juices, pineapple and spice berry up front in the aroma and flavor, the biscuit & toasted bread at the back balance out all the hops and make a great finish to go on to your next can of PINNER. It’s the perfect beer for a little sip, sip, give.”

My Description: Pinner makes for a great beer when watching the game. It begins with a good sized, white colored head that fades to a thin film leaving behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is potent and very welcoming with notes of grapefruit hops and hints of grain. Pinner is lighter bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile isn’t as potent as the aroma but there are still great flavor notes here. Grapefruit hops with a hint of berry flavor along with some malt presence. The aftertaste is moderately low in bitterness and refreshing. This beer is easy drinking with great hop notes; it’s a great session IPA for any occasion. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with fried chicken salads, grilled tilapia, or seasoned roasted vegetables.

ABV: 4.9% Color: Gold/Straw Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10

Great Lakes Rye of the Tiger

RYE OF THE TIGER: 94 Points

I must drink you!

I must drink you!

This IPA is released seasonally in the Spring in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Our Rye of the Tiger has claws. Named for its fierce hop profile and sharp rye content, Rye of the Tiger is a thrilling India Pale Ale with bite. Rye of the Tiger is crafted for the fighter in all of us, a powerful beer meant to inspire feats of strength and skill. At 7.5%, mind those catlike reflexes if your bout goes into extra rounds. If you can handle this hopped-up kitty, you’ve earned your stripes.”

My Description: This is very bitter beer but it doesn’t hide the other flavors, in fact it is the perfect finish to this ale. It begins with a good sized, white colored head with an excellent retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming and it smells fresh with notes of rye, fruity hops, and a hint of tropical hops. Rye of the Tiger is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is clean and delicious with all notes working smoothly together. A noticeable rye spice and breadiness sets the foundation with bold citrus hops coming through. Some sweet malt notes add character along with some earthiness. Overall this beer has excellent balance. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and the aftertaste is moderately high in bitterness. This beauty is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with fried chicken, spicy fish tacos, or jerk seasoned dishes.

ABV: 7.5% Color: Orange/Amber Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 7/10

Smuttynose Rhye IPA

RHYE IPA: 96 Points

Bold yet gentle

Bold yet gentle

This IPA is released “now and then” in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “In craft beer, there are almost as many bad rye puns as there are bad hop puns; Smuttynose is happy to spare you from more of either. Instead, we’ll tell you about our new Big Beer, Rhye IPA. We brewed it because we like drinking hoppy American-style beers and we wanted a chance to brew with rye. The rest, as they say, is history. The result is a 7% hoppy IPA, with rye spiciness and big hop character. This beer will really get under your armor…”

My Description: This beer is smooth with clean flavors that work harmoniously together. I also feel that the rye addition works marvelously with the hops selection. It begins with a very large, off-white colored head with a great retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is very aromatic with Citra hops written all over it. There are notes of stone fruits, tropical hops, and some citrus hops; this beer smells fantastic. Rhye IPA is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The way this beer is mashed it makes it very drinkable but thins out the body a bit, however not enough to affect it negatively. The flavor profile is well executed and slightly complex. Rye spice undertones and a malty body hold up notes of pine hops, bread, and some grassiness. This transitions into an aftertaste that is moderately bitter with a lingering rye and pine hop note. This beer is delicious and an easy choice for an IPA with rye. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with beef jerky, smoked ribs, or a spicy Thai dish.

ABV: 7.7% Color: Orange Caramel Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 6/10

Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA

HOP HUNTER: 95 Points

Great everyday IPA

Great everyday IPA

This IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Hop Hunter IPA harnesses the complex flavors of just-picked hops through an all-new method of steam distilling wet hops before they even leave the fields. This revolutionary technique captures and intensifies the natural flavors, creating a unique and intensely aromatic beer. Our custom process gathers pure hop oil which, when combined with traditional whole-cone hops in the brew kettle and makes for an incredible IPA experience.”

My Description: The steam distilled hop oils used in this ale taste and smell great. The hop oils smell fresh and the addition of actual hops still gives this beer that vegetative feel. It begins with a decent sized, white colored head with a good retention level and it leaves behind some lacing. The aroma is bright and welcoming with Cascade hop notes of citrus and floral along with notes of pale malts, some grass, and pine hop notes. Hop Hunter is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. Not surprisingly, this ale is hop forward with pungent notes of grapefruit, floral, and grassy hops. Some bready malt notes help to give this beer character while a lingering pine hop flavor delights the palate. The aftertaste is moderately bitter but overall this beer isn’t a bitter monster but more of a showcase for hop flavors. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with wood grilled salmon, smoked ribs, or a soft cheese.

ABV: 6.2% Color: Gold Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 6/10

Magic Hat Hi.P.A.

HI.P.A.: 83 Points

The Columbus Hop

The Columbus Hop

This IPA is released in their Spring Variety Pack in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “A highly hopped India Pale Ale, which was formerly our spring seasonal. It began and ended with a hop bite that is itself forever balanced on the brink by a steady rhythm of malt. The label was designed by artist Stanley Mouse who is internationally acclaimed for his iconographic concert posters for venues like the Fillmore Auditoriums and the Winterland Ballroom as well as his classic album covers for the Grateful Dead and other bands.”

My Description: According to Magic Hat’s website, this IPA is brewed exclusively with Columbus Hops and the beer showcases this hop nicely but it does have some negatives. First off, it pours a good sized, white colored head with a great retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind some lacing. The aroma is pleasant and clean with notes of malt, grass, herbal hops, and some mild earthiness. Hi.P.A. is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is enjoyable with notes of citrus hops, grains, some grassiness, and herbal hops. This transitions into the aftertaste that is moderately bitter with a lingering orange note. However, the beer seems to thin out a bit in the finish and the alcohol begins to show itself slightly as the beer warms. This is still a nice presentation by Magic Hat and pairs nicely with jerk chicken, roasted brussel sprouts, or grilled lamb chops.

ABV: 6.7% Color: Gold Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 5/10