Posts tagged ‘IPA’

New Glarus: Black Top

No, it’s not New Glarus Fest (although that would be AWESOME)…it’s just that it happens to be the majority of beer currently in my apartment. Black Top is a new brew from New Glarus Brewing Company. It’s a Black IPA, which intrigued me so much I had to pick up a bottle. (Side note: build-your-own sixpack at stores with huge selections is fantastic.) The staff over at New Glarus recommend you drink this with steak, Mexican food, or creme brulee. Quite the mixture there. And because this is a Wisconsin company, they also recommend this beer with Brie or Gouda cheese. I’m pretty sure I had it with a chicken patty….

Style: American Black Ale (Black IPA). ABAs, also called Black IPAs or Cascadian Dark Ales, range from dark brown to black in color. They have the hoppiness and citrus flavor of a traditional IPA but, unlike traditional IPAs, also have malty and roasted notes.

Overall Impression: Hello, hops. This has the initial taste of an IPA but it settles into those malty flavors I mentioned above. On the second taste I even got a hint of chocolate–what a nice surprise! This would be a great springtime beer because it is still quite light and has those citrus and hop flavors, but would also be good for early fall.

Appearance: Black with some brownish hints. Think dark coffee. Clear but so dark you can’t really see through it. Good head although the retention was not excellent.

Aroma: Hop hoppity hop hop hop.

Taste: Initially you get hops and citrus much like your standard IPA. As the taste hangs around though, the roasted and malt notes come through. Does NOT leave you with a bitter aftertaste–another pleasant development from this beer.

Mouthfeel: Difficult to describe. It had good carbonation and lingered long enough on my taste buds so that I could sense the complex flavors of this beer.

Try this if you like: War Horse American Black Lager, New Belgium Snow Day Winter Ale, Surly Damien

4 pints


Warhorse Brewing Company: IPA

I normally don’t drink IPAs because I’m not a fan of the strong bitterness. That’s why you don’t see too many of them on this blog-I find it difficult to review them objectively. But I gave it a shot with this one from War Horse Brewing Company (soon to be famous.) I’ve also reviewed their Riesling Ale and their American Black Lager.

Style: American India Pale Ale (IPA). Pale golden to reddish amber color. High bitterness and high citrate flavor. Usually balanced by a malty background.

Overall Impression: A pretty decent IPA. Nothing special but it gets the job done.  This went really well with the Indian food I was eating at the time.

Appearance: Clear with a pale brown color. Decent head retention.

Smell: Mostly the hops come through in the aroma.

Taste: Excellent bitterness. Everything you’d expect from an IPA. And like many IPAs, you don’t taste much beyond the hops.

Mouthfeel: Clean and crisp.

Try this if you like: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, HopDevil Ale, Heavy Seas Loose Cannon

Heartland Brewery Part 3

Today’s selections from the Heartland Brewery are their Indiana Pale Ale and Farmer Jon’s Oatmeal Stout. This will be the second-to-last post in the Heartland Brewery series.

The Indiana Pale Ale was a very typical IPA. It was clear, crisp, dry, and hoppy. It’s everything you would want from an IPA. That said, it doesn’t have any “extras” to it that would make it more than just an IPA. You can get the same taste from just about any brewery that makes good IPAs. Goose Island’s and Sierra Nevada’s come to mind.

Try this if you like: IPAs in general

Next up is the Farmer Jon’s Oatmeal Stout. Sadly, the Heartland Brewery claims that it is similar to Guinness. Now, there’s nothing wrong with American Guinness but there are MANY better oatmeal stouts out there. New Glarus makes an excellent one. This beer was far too flavorful for it to be like American Guinness. (Why do I keep saying “American?” Because Guinness is MUCH better in Ireland.)

This was a dark, almost black, opaque stout. It had an oatmeal/malty aroma, and a smooth, malty taste with hints of espresso. If you like coffee stouts but find them a bit too strong for you, this is the beer for you. The espresso was just enough to balance out the oatmeal. No one flavor was overpowering.

Try this if you like: New Glarus Road Slush, New Glarus Coffee Stout, or other oatmeal/coffee stouts.

4 stars