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.