4AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
You have to hand it to microbreweries and their quirky beer names. Keegan Ales’ Hurricane Kitty is a great American-style India pale ale in more ways than one. It’s named after the brewer’s grandmother’s nickname given to her by police over her driving style. When they say they try to “make the hop bill as aggressively as her driving record” they weren’t kidding.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
This was a very unusual beer in terms of the pour. The liquid flowed out of the bottle perfectly smooth, but even after two very careful pours of different bottles Hurricane Kitty produced a massive head. I’ve never seen a head this disproportionately large in an IPA before – so should I give the beer credit for distinctiveness?
The body is a beautiful shade of copper, although resembling a red you might see in an amber ale or Irish red. There was some carbonation noticeable. The aroma was a strong scent of floral bitterness, better known as hops. I could tell from the nose this was going to be a beer with bite.
I’ve noticed there are a few distinct tastes for an IPA to have. What I don’t like is a beer that tastes dirty like saltwater or thick like syrup. What I do like is a clean, bitter taste and/or a citrusy flavor. Hurricane Kitty feel somewhere in between my preferences with a very strong hoppy body and just the slightest citrus flavor detectable.
I was actually a little surprised I found myself smacking my lips so much, clucking my tongue, because this is usually my reaction to IPAs with a distinct citrus character (usually grapefruit). A tart taste is as much an attribute to an IPA as it is to real lemonade, and it can be found in Hurricane Kitty.
Hurricane Kitty, true to its namesake, packs a punch to the palate and then some. It has a rough mouthfeel and finishes a little coarse. A seasoned IPA drinker like me might not notice its edge, but I have a feeling anyone else will. But I wouldn’t really hold it against the beer since it’s expected.
At 5.5% ABV, this beer is just about average in potency for an IPA. The weight itself seemed to compliment the beer by being noticeable, but nothing scary. I actually enjoy an average-to-light body because I don’t want to be bogged down when I drink a beer of this type.
It’s so nice to know there are microbreweries like Keegan Ales that can produce a high-quality niche style beer like Hurricane Kitty. I know this isn’t a beer for everyone, but more important is the fact it’s not intended for everyone, anyway. I’m glad I’ve reach a point where I can really enjoy this beer.