3.6AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2012 Recently, I was slammed by fellow beer critics for not liking a beer because it was of a style I didn’t usually enjoy. I wonder if they’ll slam me for liking a beer of a style I do usually enjoy? I’ll take my chances and say that I like the India pale ale style of beer and I especially enjoy those by the Magic Hat brewery. Therefore, it shouldn’t shock anyone what I liked their spring seasonal hI.P.A.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
This beer poured a little rough and formed a huge, off-white, foamy head which lingered for quite a while and never completely dissipated. It left lacing up and down the glass. The body was a dark shade of gold and was quite hazy, but with no sediment visible. The scent was strictly floral as the hops made their presence known.
It seems that so many IPAs have a distinct ingredient to give them their hook, but Magic Hat’s hI.P.A. is one of the few middle-of-the-road IPAs still available on the market today. With this beer, it’s all about the hops. As soon as I took my first swigs I got the sensation of a strong hop bit and a bitter body. According to magichat.net, this beer is only a 48 on the bitterness scale, but it certainly tastes much higher.
I was surprised this beer had no additional ingredients to give it any kind of sweet or sour flavor, such as grapefruit or any kind of citrus. Regardless, the hop taste remained strong throughout and was always enjoyable.
Because this is a beer that bites you back, hI.P.A. finishes smooth when it’s cold, but if allowed to warm it becomes a challenge to drink. Overall, I’d still consider it a smooth, easy to drink brew.
What really surprised me about this beer was how light it seemed to be. At 5.8% ABV, hI.P.A. is a little heavier than your average brewski, yet I was able to drink two bottles without noticing much of an effect at all. It certainly was light on my system as I never felt full or even remotely overwhelmed.
If this beer had been made by anyone other than Magic Hat I might not have been quite as impressed. Still, it is a great American take on the classic British style, and is tasty and drinkable – what else do you need in a beer?