I recently started a new diet, which cuts my beer consumption quite a bit. However, Saturdays are a “cheat day” when I can pretty much have anything I want. So, of course, I had to have a beer or two today. I found this one in the beer fridge, and remember picking it up in a mixed 6 pack during a trip up to Minnesota last year. I’ve been trying to pull all of the IPAs I have out of the beer fridge, since the hops fade pretty quickly. Unfortunately, this one says, “Enjoy by 9/21/14.” The bottle also says, “Each spring, we will turn the spotlight on our talented brewers as they team up to create a truly special India Pale Ale. Collaboration, unique ingredients and a whole lot of creativity and ingenuity will illuminate what we already know – our brewers are the heart of our brewery. Help us shine a light on these extraordinary team members by raising a glass (or bottle) and share a spotlight with us!”
Location: Poured into a TEKU pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL
Numbers: 7.3% ABV, ~220 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s amber in color and slightly hazy. It appears to have a lot of carbonation in it, but the head fell to a creamy layer around the edge of the glass after a few minutes. The aroma is piney-hoppy with some honey-like maltiness behind it.
Taste & Feel: The body is medium and the mouthfeel is slightly oily from the hops and lightly crisp from the carbonation. The flavor up front is a mix of honey maltiness and some tropical, mango-like hoppiness. In the middle, the hop bitterness grows with a touch more crispness from the carbonation. The finish is mostly an earthy-piney and slightly spicy bitterness, which lasts for a minute or two in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: I think the maltiness and hop flavors would pair nicely with a food that has some breadiness and cheesiness like a pizza or fried appetizers. The malty flavors would be hightened by the bread and the hoppiness would mix with the cheese.
Overall Impression: I know this IPA has some age on it, and the hop flavor isn’t as fresh as it was when it was new, but I enjoyed the mix of hop flavors it had – tropical-mango up front with more earthy-piney and spicy hop flavors in the finish. It had a pretty good malt base that had a nice honey-like flavor. Overall, I thought this was a pretty good beer and would be interested to try it fresh, or other beers from this brewery.