lot of people think the IPA is an idiot-proof recipe since it’s easy to
hide imperfections behind all the hop character. To some extent that
may true, however, if you’ve got a boring or even standard IPA recipe,
it’s still going to come across as boring or standard. I guess that’s
how I’d describe Horseheads IPA – a pretty typical East Coast-style brew
that’s in no way “off,” and does have some redeeming qualities, but is
far from great.
I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date. I bought it at the brewery for $5.75 ($0.26 per ounce).
Appearance: Mostly clear copper/orange hue. Pours to a two-finger, off-white, foamy head which retains and laces quite well.
Smell: Flowery hops with some earthy/piney character. Quite mild overall, though.
Taste: For a beer claiming 91 IBUs, Horseheads IPA is surprisingly
malt-forward. Some caramel malt and even brown sugar sweetness are
present right away. Mild toasted character can be found as well. Through
the middle and finish come the hops, and they’re of the earthy/piney
variety. I do notice some orange flavor as well, mostly in the
aftertaste. There’s bitterness here for sure, though the actual hop bite
seems rather tame. This is a brew I’ve had dozens of times before and
while it’s not bad, it’s just not that interesting – at least not to me…
anymore. This would probably be a good introduction to the style for
Drinkability: This is a beer that should be pretty hefty, but doesn’t
feel like it. On one hand it’s nice to be able to quaff down an 8.6% ABV
brew - what with its thin, crisp mouthfeel and smooth finish. However, I
think there should be more complexity and more overall body than this.