Browsing articles in "IPA"

Lagunitas Brewing Co. Little Sumpin’ Wild Ale Review

Lagunitas Brewing Company Little Sumpin Wild Ale

Kicking off The Quest for 366 Beers in 366 Days is one great beer. As a big fan of Lagunitas’ Wheat IPA named A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale, I found the “wild version” had that little sumpin’ that really made it stand out from the rest.

Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Company

Name: Little Sumpin’ Wild Ale

Style: Belgian India Pale Ale

ABV: 9.4%

IBU: 72

The label describes it best.

“Net Contents: 12 fluid oz’s…. of hops, malt, hops, hops, yeast, hops, water, and hops.”

Look: Golden yellow (like many IPA’s). Sticky and resinous with a slightly off-white head that sticks to the side of the glass.

Smell: Blend of belgian funk and lemon with a bit of honey on the finish. Super pungent and full hop aroma.

Taste: Starts out really hoppy and citrusy then bam… that Belgian yeast flavor hits. I actually found this nice and balanced even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the other Belgian IPA that I tried which was Stone’s Belgo IPA. The yeastiness was a bit much for me in that one but Lagunitas hit the spot with the amount of flavor from both the hops and the yeast. The finish is earthy and spicy fading into the taste of Belgian’s finest.

Feel: I wouldn’t call this beer dry but it isn’t particularly resinous either. It has just the right amount of sweetness to help counter the heavy-handed hopping, the high gravity and to ensure that it sticks around on your palate long enough to tease you as you anticipate the next sip. It’s definitely a solid beer and a great example of the “Belgian” IPA style.

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Philippe Gagnon is the founder and writer for Craft Beer Culture. Currently residing in Orange County, California, you can find him at the local brewery drinking craft beer or online through FacebookTwitter, and .

Russian River Brewing Pliny the Elder Review

Russian River Pliny the Elder

Brewery: Russian River Brewing Company

Name: Pliny the Elder

Style: Double India Pale Ale

ABV: 8%

IBU: 100

Look: Ultra clear. This beer defines clarity in an IPA as you can literally see your fingers through the side of the glass. Nice bright orange hue and decent hoppy head that foams up than dissipates out slowly.

Smell: Hops… Lots and lots of hops. Hard to smell beyond them as they’re so floral and fragrant. Light notes of grass and lemon. Swirl it around and the earthiness comes out leaving it smelling fresh like the air after heavy rain. Incredibly aromatic.

Taste: Beautifully bitter and perfectly hop forward. This bottle was really fresh so there was hardly any sweetness at all. The citrus notes come through at the end. In a sense, tt doesn’t taste like it smells, which in this case is fine because if you take a big sniff as you sip, you get an aroma explosion that complements the flavor profile nicely.

Feel: My favorite part of Pliny is the mouthfeel. Russian River is definitely using highly attenuative yeast which rips through the sugar leaving the mouthfeel really light with a clean dry finish. This makes this 8% ABV Double IPA, very easy to drink and delectably light on the palate, especially considering the extreme hop bill. Definitely one of my favorite IIPA’s even considering the intense hype.

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Philippe Gagnon is the founder and writer for Craft Beer Culture. Currently residing in Orange County, California, you can find him at the local brewery drinking craft beer or online through FacebookTwitter, and .

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA Review

Ballast Point Brewing Co Sculpin IPA

The day before IPA Day, I walked into Total Wine in hopes of finding something special. I went straight to the back walk-in fridge, a spot a kind employee once showed that frequently has delicious and hard to find beers. This is where I came upon an unopened case from Ballast Point Brewing Company. I carefully lifted one of the cases flaps, grabbed the top of a 22oz bottle and pulled out the one and only, Sculpin IPA.

Sculpin has a perfectly gold color and its head stays consistent until the very end. It smells of really fresh hops which gives it a bitter nose but in a really pleasing way, similar to the aroma of a good coffee. There are also lots of fruity flavors like peach, apricot, melon, and pineapple that really jump out of the glass.

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Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA Review

Baird Ishii Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA

As part of their 2011 Collaboration Series, Stone’s head brewer Mitch Steel got together with Toshi Ishii of Ishii Brewing Co and Bryan Baird of Baird Brewing, to make a Japanese Green Tea IPA. Together they brewed a huge beer to benefit the Tsunami Relief effort. This IPA features five different hop varieties: Warrior, Crystal, Pacifica, then dry hopped with Aramis and Sorachi Ace.

To put the icing on the cake, they also dry hopped it with Sencha, a whole-leaf green tea from Japan. And, in typical Stone fashion, they made it big, brewed at 9.2% to commemorate the 9.2 magnitude earthquake. The five hop varieties and addition of green tea makes this not your everyday IPA.

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