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Beer Review #243 West Coast IPA

Today we have Green Flash Brewing Company’s claim to fame, West Coast IPA. I first heard of Green Flash via praise for this beer. Being a lifelong (minus one year in Texas) east coaster, I have a bit of a different take on what an IPA should be compared to my left coast beer lovers. Everything I heard about West Coast IPA told me that this beer took a hoppy west coast IPA and hopped it up more.

West Coast IPA pours a nice burnt orange color has has a thick off-white head. I actually had to leave the head settle for a bit so that I could empty to full bottle into my glass. The nose is a punch of bright citrus and pine homes.The bottle reads “extravagantly hopped,” and boy did this one smell like it. There was a slight hint of malt behind the mountains of hops. I didn’t get any heat which I was expecting to find as this beer comes in at 7.3% ABV.

After I gave my nose a break from the hops assault, I dove into the beer. A strong bittering hop hits you right away and a citrus/pine hop flows through the entire beer. There is a solid malt backbone that supports all of the hops, but I couldn’t identify any particular flavor in the malt. The beer finishes with one final hop kick that fades as you drink the beer.

I really liked this one. It’s super hoppy and lives up to the hype. For a beer that is so hop forward, I found that the body supported the hops very nicely. I’m going to be getting this one again. (more…)

Beer Review #84 Santa’s Private Reserve

I really like Rouge Ales and their beers. I visited them when I was in Portland, Oregon and I had a great time. I was also treated to a wonderful variety of quality beers. Santa’s Private Reserve is a beer that I’ve been wanting to try for awhile but I’ve only ever seen it in Lubbock, and I saw it there in July. Something told me not to get it because it was sitting in the fridge for a bit too long.

When I happened upon it at my new favorite beer store, I grabbed it up. This ale is an American amber style beer. Which means that it should be a bit malty and have a nice finish. Because it was brewed by Rouge and Rouge is based in the west coast, hops are going to be stronger than an east coast American amber. Redish, amber is the color that the beer pours, which fits in well with style. It is crystal clear and has a light, slightly off-white head that sits on top of the tasty treat.

The nose has lots of floral hops. I really couldn’t get much else other than hops. That’s not always a bad thing, because these hops smelled very nice. On the first taste I got some lightly roasted malt followed by some piney, spicy hops. The hopss very not harsh at all, but very smooth and balanced. I found this beer to be very enjoyable. The malt flows right into the hops and then the aftertaste. I love it when beers have their components flow right into each other. Rouge did a great job with this beer and I would love to have some more again very soon. (more…)