Wednesday, August 31, 2011
New Belgium Ranger IPA
New Belgium Brewing
Fort Collins, Colorado USA
Are you a hopinista? Thank our Beer Rangers for inspiring (and begging for) this well-balanced Simcoe, Cascade and Chinook hopped IPA. 70 IBUs
22 oz bottles: ~$3.50 each
New Belgium finally arrived in our area on Monday. I stopped in at State Line Liquors after work on Friday for the Hurricane Happy Hour and New Belgium beer tasting. I bought a variety of New Belgium beers that night to help ride out Hurricane Irene and then some. So the next series of reviews will be from New Belgium.
The beer pours a clear copper with light amber hues and a white to off white head.
The nose is rich with caramel malt aromas and very strong but complex hop aromas.
We start out with a malt sweetness up front on the tip of the tongue. That only last for a split second; it is immediately replaced with a hop bitterness followed by a tingling over the tongue in mid-sip. There is a building hop bitterness throughout the middle of the sip. The back-end is not easy drinking, the hop robustness is so intense that there is almost a clinging of the jaws during the swallow. The finish has an equally intense hop presence but there is also a nice malt backbone to this ale that almost balances out the bitterness. The hop complexity on the finish is also very impressive; pine, floral and earthy hop flavors with citrus fruit notes. Again complemented by a nice caramel malt sweetness. There is a lingering hop bitterness to this ale but it is not as oppressive as most IPA’s. Sorry that was the non hophead coming out.
All and all this is a very impressive IPA. It also has an almost imperial quality to it.
Sorry for the short review but I am writing this while facing tornado warnings from hurricane Irene that is hitting us pretty good right not.
I’m going for a B+ for sure. Now most hop heads will most likely disagree with that. This is a very good IPA that I will have again. It just seems to be slightly lacking an A rating.