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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Northern Lights IPA

India Pale Ale
Serving Type: On Tap at the Brewery
Spokane, WA

Aroma: Expected citrus notes of grapefruit rind with a certain grassy character. While the aroma in general is certainly hop focused, it isn't entirely bright. If you look for it you'll find some bread crust and caramel.

Appearance: Pours a deep copper, nearly red, with excellent clarity. Creme colored head rests thin but persistent. A trace of lacing sticks to the edge of the glass.

Flavor: Heavy hop flavor and bitterness upfront. More grapefruit dominating the palate with a hint of caramel malt making a showing here and there. Resinous hop flavor holds into the finish while bitterness bites the back of the throat. Hop resin sticks long into the finish with a near cloying tenacity.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with light carbonation. There is almost a foaming character in the mouth with the carbonation that creates palate fullness. Hop bitterness holds on to the roof of the mouth and back of the throat as chalky and resin.

Overall: For an IPA you're not shorted on the hop presence in bitterness, flavor, or mouthfeel. While the aroma rings true of an American IPA it comes off somewhat mottled and unfocused. Brighter hop aroma would be welcome and expected with all that flavor and bitterness. A fine selection for the hop lover while holding a delicate balance with the malt.

I rated this beer a B on Beer Advocate.

If you see this in bottles in the Seattle area, I recommend picking it up if you want to scrape the enamel off your teeth with hop resin.

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Beer enthusiast and advocate. Recognized beer judge and traveler of west coast beer destinations.