Tuesday, February 2, 2010

3 IPAs reviewed

India Pale Ales are my favorite style of beer. In the 1700's Britain had many soldiers and colonists living in India. These poor souls were left without any of their good homeland ale! Malts and other raw ingredients spoiled during their journey sailing around Africa and up to the spice land. As a result India Pale Ale was born. It was a slightly higher alcohol beer brewed with lots of hops to help it survive its voyage in oak barrels on rocky seas.

Modern American IPAs are generally copper in color and well hopped, in the medium-high alcohol range.

Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale (6.7% ABV)
All of the ingredients used to brew this beer were grown in Sierra Nevada's private estate. I really enjoyed this beer. It was well balanced and smooth. An easy drinking IPA without any overwhelming flavors and a faint aroma. It's one of the better Sierra IPA varieties but for over $10 a 24oz bottle it's a bit pricey for what it offers.

Ithaca Flower Power IPA (8% ABV)
You might remember me mentioning this in my favorite beers list - each sip just reaffirms that idea. You probably imagine someone with bare feet and hemp pants drinking this because of the name, but once you catch that hop smell you'll understand. Flower power is super dry-hopped with a very floral smelling hop variety. The hop blast is very present with a lingering bitterness and notes of citrusy grapefruit. All in all I find it to be it to be a very flavorful IPA.

Southern Tier Unearthly IPA (11%)
Bang! Pow! WHOMP! If a comic character were drinking this that would be the little bubbles popping out of his mouth. This delicious imperial IPA is loaded with hops from front to back. It has a wonderful citrus hop aroma, strong bitterness and a hint of sweet caramel. It's hard to tell that it is 11% ABV from the taste.

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