Saturday, October 31, 2009

Because I'm not going to a Halloween party, this beer geek is going to spend his Saturday night with a couple India Pale Ales. One is Anderson Valley Hop Ottin' which I consider to be and "old school" west coast IPA and the other Lagunitas IPA, what I consider to be "new school."

First up is the Anderson Valley, which pours beautifully with plenty of carbonation that settles to a quarter-inch thick head with lots of Brussels lace. Hop aroma is a little restrained; but a good amount of complex hop flavor is present, with a good dose of peppery, citrusy hops and resiny bitterness in the finish. Very smooth. Caramel malts do well in balancing this IPA, until it warms up and the last sip is quite bitter!

The Lagunitas IPA is much more refined; less rustic I suppose. It appears to have been more tightly filtered. It pours with even more carbonation than the Hop Ottin' which creates some lace (though not as thick), but lacks head retention. The Lagunitas smells different; it's citrus, but particularly orange. Very smooth and dry enhancing quaffability which fits the brewery's motto of "life is short, don't sip!"

I enjoyed both of these beers, but I think I liked the Hop Ottin' a little more. The Lagunitas was easy to quaff, but I enjoyed the complexity of the Anderson Vally IPA a little more.

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