Sunday, October 18, 2015

Tröegs Hop Knife Harvest Ale

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1478) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 18, 2015
Fresh hops can really change the way you think about an IPA and what can be done with the style. That’s what Tröegs Hop Knife Harvest Ale is doing for me. It’s a very dank and bitter brew with some flavors you don’t usually find in the average IPA.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 7/23/15 and cost $2.60 ($0.22 per ounce).

Appearance: Clear shade of dark amber to orange proper. Slow, sparse carbonation bubbles are visible. Pours to a surprisingly small, white, foamy head which retains well but doesn’t leave much lacing.

Smell: Mostly Centennial hops with a lush tropical fruit syrup and black tea aroma. Very sweet nose, almost like children’s cereal.

Taste: Looking at the recipe for this beer, what’s really interesting about it is the fact it’s brewed with three different hops and dry-hops with three more. Not surprisingly, the hops are indeed front and center of the palette at all times. Quite dank and resiny up front, then they quickly become dry, herbal and grassy. It’s a nice combination of pine, tea, and a dusting of spice rack seasonings. There’s a light sweetness on the back end; slightly citrusy and maybe even a tad confectionery. At 87 IBUs, this is obviously a strongly bitter beer – maybe even a little too strong since it’s only a single IPA after all. Still, the flavor combinations all work well and each swig is tasty and fun to drink.

Drinkability: Tröegs Hop Knife Harvest Ale is only 6.2% ABV, but it has the intense palette of a double IPA (especially considering all those IBUs). I was a bit underwhelmed by the actual delivery, though. Mouthfeel seems a tad thin and flat. Thankfully, there’s no sticky or cloying sensation but the hops do linger and leave a resiny/starchy sensation on the tongue. Each sip will leave you clucking your tongue. I could see this pairing well with spicy fare.

RATING: 7/10

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