Sunday, November 11, 2007
Hoppy, hoppy. Joy, Joy.
Here we have a beer brought back from Indiana by my friend Ryan called Mad Anthony IPA. It's an orange-hued IPA with not a lot of carbonation, but the initial one-finger or so of head leaves a persistent layer of fine bubbles -- this is a fairly visually appealing ale. The aroma is rather delicate, fruity and mildly hoppy. Frankly, I'm not too impressed with it. Spicy, hoppy flavors that lead to a tangerine-laced finish are interesting, but certainly not over-powering. The bitterness is right for a smaller American-style IPA. Any yeast flavor component seems over-run by the hops. The finish is clean, a touch sweet then bitter. Mad Anthony has a good, clean IPA here and one I wouldn't be afraid to revisit, but not necessarily seek out.
Loose Cannon (Hop3 Ale) is an IPA from Clipper City Brewery in Maryland. This was another brew picked up in Indiana. The Loose Cannon poured pretty nicely with good carbonation and a couple fingers of foam. The head falls pretty quick though, leaving an almost flat looking ale. The fruity (orange?) hop aroma was pretty intense and noticeable a few inches away from my glass. Loose Cannon is a rather sweet and fruity golden-hued ale that seemed a touch too sweet in the finish to be considered an IPA. The body is fairly light, enhancing drinkability, but causes me to lose interest. There was no real hop bite in this beer's finish, just some light spicy hops and sticky sweetness along with the warmth of alcohol, detracting from the enjoyment of this beer. This is one I wouldn't mind giving a second chance, but I wouldn't seek it out. Judging by reviews on Beer Advocate, I'd like to try this one on tap.
Heavy Handed IPA is third up in this trifecta of extra hoppy ales. Heavy Handed is brewed by Two Brothers Brewing in Warrenville, Illinois. It is a "wet hopped" IPA; meaning it was brewed with fresh hops that were not kilned (dried) before adding them to the beer. Heavy Handed is not exceptionally bitter beer in terms of modern "hop bombs" -- the beer is brewed to a bitterness of 62 IBUs. That said, there is a lot of hop aroma, flavor and lasting bitterness in this amber-hued IPA. It's a pretty beer, too, with white head of foam that settles slowly, leaving some lace down the sides of the glass. The hop aroma is complex; woody, herbal and very pleasant. Spicy, resiny, almost stikcy hops dominate the palate with caramel malt flavors softening the sharpness of the hops. The finish is bitter and rather long and just a touch thick. The mouthfeel is smooth and a touch slick in this full-bodied IPA that is probably the beefiest (least dry) of the bunch. It's definitely worth noting that this beer is produced in different batches each a different hop. The type of hop used can be determined by discerning the lot number from the label. My six-pack was part of lot no. 2547, which was brewed with the Willamette variety of hop.