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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Happy International IPA Day!

It's August 4th- Happy International IPA day! (ok, by the time anyone reads this, it will probably be the day after)


I have no idea who created this day, but I'd like to shake their hand.

Not that I need another reason to drink an IPA mind you. But, it is August, the weather is cooling (oddly), and we're staring down the barrel of Oktoberfest and the fall beer season, which, to me, means drink all the IPA you can NOW- while it's still summer!

I posted earlier this week about my mishap at the packie- my error in purchasing an Imperial Pale Ale rather than my coveted India Pale Ale. Yeah, I'm an idiot. Let this be a lesson to you all- read the dang label!

But luckily, I did make another accurate purchase that day, an actual IPA! Please welcome to the blog....

HOP NOIR
Peak Organic Brewing Company, Portland, ME
8.2% ABV

The label on this beer caught my eye, mostly because it has that little half green, half white "USDA Organic" seal. The idea of drinking good beer and being environmentally responsible is very appealing (I've been reading a lot of Michael Polan books lately, its having an affect, I can't lie).

The label says this about the beer- 
"Hop Noir is a delectable Black IPA, dripping with piney, aromatic Centennial hops. The malt base is dark and rich, anchored by organic black malt. This provides a strong foundation for the extravagant kettle hopping and dry-hopping that this beer experiences. Enjoy with a night-light."

Hmm..a black IPA? 

Holy Dark! This beer pours BLACK. I caught hints of dark, dark cherry red when I held it up to intense light. Head was thick and tight and brown. It looked stout thick during the pour.

Smell is malt- dark roasted malted, with an intense sweetness that I couldn't quite identify- Fruit? Candy? Chocolate? I'm not 100% sure, but there is something super sweet hidden in the nose. Overall it was very...earthy, with hints of hops on the back.

Mouthfeel is much lighter than expected- This beer may pour like a stout, but it feels like a porter. Much more carbonation that is indicated in the pour. Slightly creamy on the palate.

Taste is very... GOOD. I taste dark roasted coffee, almost burnt, with a sweetness I still can't articulate (maybe a dunks dark roast with extra extra?). Its very malty, with a hop flower bitter finish.

This beer keeps you guessing. It pours like a stout, feels like a porter, yet finishes like an IPA. What the hell is this?

Overall, it's a very good beer. I'd classify it in the category with the current IPA/porter combos that seem to be the hot trend in craft beer. Call it a "black IPA" or an East India Porter". I give this beer a solid 4. Black IPA = good drinking!

Cheers!

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