Skip to main content

Beer Review #253 Hellrazer IPA

12-16-03I’ve really been in an IPA mood lately and I’ve also been trying to buy some more local beers. Duclaw Brewing Company solved both of those “problems” for me with their Hellrazer IPA, a 7.5% ABV beer. The bottle also advertises that it is hopped with New Zealand hops, in particular Motueka. I’m not super familiar with New Zealand hops as they are super expensive and are generally pretty hard to find. My brief research on these hops say that they are generally used with pilsners and Belgian ales.

Hellrazer pours a nice clear orange and has an ample white head. The nose is packed with citrus hops and is a bit bready. I’m not entirely sure how to describe the hops other than citrus, but it was a unique smell that I haven’t noticed in other IPAs. I’m assuming this is related to the¬†Motueka hops.

On the first line of my taste area of notes it says, “amazing,” and it really is. The hops are great, bitter but also packed with flavor. There is a strong citrus flavor along with some bubble gum. It’s a pretty unique taste from what my lips have tasted. There is a really solid malt backbone that provides the needed bread and sweetness to balance this beer. This beer is exceptionally smooth as well.

I am strongly considering purchasing some New Zealand hops after having this beer. It has such a unique hop profile that it makes the beer very memorable. I really dig this beer. I’m going to have to make a trip down to Duclaw during my holiday break and get a fresh glass of this. (more…)

Beer Review #125 Boxcar IPA

Today’s beer is actually a newly released beer that comes from Boxcar Brewing Company out of West Chester, PA. Boxcar IPA has been available in stores for just over two weeks now and I have yet to see a review of it online. Just one important disclaimer before we get into this review, Boxcar Brewing is where I help volunteer a few times a year for their community bottling days. So I do have a bit more of a personal relationship with the brewers than any other brewery that I have reviewed on here before, but that will not get in the way of me reviewing this beer as fairly as I can.

Boxcar IPA pours a hazy orange color with a fluffy white head. This beer is naturally carbonated but there does seem to be a bit more yeast in this particular beer than what there is in a normal bottle conditioned beer. It doesn’t bother me at all (homebrew is full of yeast) but it might put off some. The nose isn’t very hoppy for an IPA but instead the malt seems to dominate. There is a sweetness to the beer that I haven’t noticed on many other IPAs. This might be due to the fact that they use Belgian candy sugar in the production of this beer. I also noticed some bubble gum on the nose which was interesting.

On my first taste I was really surprised at how restrained the hops are on this IPA. I love a balanced beer but I think this one could have a bit more of a kick and still be perfectly fine. There are some slight fruity notes upfront along with the sweetness from the malt. I found the heat to be a bit strong when the beer warmed up, but while cold this beer is very sneaky. It doesn’t taste like 7.2% but it is.

Boxcar IPA is a very different IPA from what I have ever had before. I believe that it fits into the style guidelines nicely, but it just offers some different flavors than what one would expect. Try it out if you see it to try a unique IPA. (more…)