Sunday, July 22, 2007

Alaskan IPA

The beer is new to Northern California, but I first tried this in Oregon back in January. I can't tell you how happy I was to see this in our local Nugget Market - apparently the only place in the region carrying the product at this time. In short, there isn't a beer put out by the guys in Alaskan that I haven't loved, from their light Summer Ale to their near perfect Winter Ale. My hopes are high on this.

Pours a rich, thick, golden color with good clarity. The head is best described as sticky, rocky and well retaining. The aroma has it all going on: caramel, citrus, spice, alcohol. All characteristics coming together beautifully. This general combination is also found in the flavor, enhanced by the smooth and creamy texture and medium body. Next, this beer is 'juicy', reminding me of a few good "wet-hopped" beers you'll see around this Fall. Along with the before-mentioned characteristics, the words "grapefruit", "flowers" and "Spring" come to mind. Simply beautiful.

This is a great beer. It has the hops you want in a 'west coast' IPA, but also has a great malt backbone that you don't see everyday out here. However, this sweetness isn't as pronounced as you'll find back east in their IPAs. This beer is new to the market, but I believe I'll be pulling this off the shelf more quickly than most of the IPAs out there. No, this is not as agressively hop bittered as many of my staple IPAs, but wow... that flavor is rich!

Score on this... 4.2/5

From their website...
Alaskan IPA is made from glacier-fed water and a generous blend of the finest quality European and Pacific Northwest hop varieties and premium two-row and specialty malts. Our water originates in the 1,500-square-mile Juneau Ice Field and from more than 90 inches of rainfall each year.

The pronounced hop flavor makes this style of beer refreshing and a delicious accompaniment to grilled prawns, spicy food and as an aperitif.

Original Gravity: 1.057, ABV: 6.2%, Bitterness: 55 IBU, Color: 12 SRM