Friday, December 12, 2014

Horseheads IPA

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1237) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 12, 2014
A 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 newcomers.

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. 
Grade: 6/10

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