I have had a quiet couple of weeks since the Christmas and new year holidays and also returning from a trip to York. My laptop gave up the ghost and recovering all the info not backed up, took a lot of my time and resources. Is this an excuse for not blogging much lately, probably, so I better get on with it.
A friend asked the other day if I had seen an IPA as week as 3.6% (I had) but it started the debate, on whether the lower alcohol beers called IPA actually are IPA. I discovered that these lower alcohol IPAs, have been brewed in Britain since at least the 1920s, so they must class as IPA by virtue of the historical use of the name.
I will not go into the full history but Classic IPAs are traditionally, strongly hopped pale ales, with a varied alcohol content, the higher alcohol content versions being viewed as the norm by most.
In the USA, IPA or American IPA, has really taken off and IPA is described by ratebeer as
IPA, This style, the modern version of which has largely been formed in the US, has an intense hop flavor which was used to preserve the beer for the long voyage. India Pale Ale has a golden to copper color with a medium maltiness and body. The aroma is moderate to very strong. IPAs work especially well at cutting the heat of chili, vindaloo or Sichuan cuisine. In England, IPA is often just another name for bitter although some micros are doing their own versions of an American IPA as well.
I am not a big fan of beers that are over hopped but many IPAs are very nice and also very refreshing. So now for some examples.
Greene King from England is well known for making IPA but not everyone realises they make more than one version. From the relatively week 3,6% up to the strong 7.5%.
IPA, 3.6% amber with a thin head, hop aroma, a nice light hop taste and very easy to drink.
IPA Export, 5.0% darker than your usual IPA, light hop aroma and it had a hint of toffee in the taste, very nice.
Very Special India Pale Ale, 7.5% amber colour with a thin head, citrus hop and malt aroma, strong hop and alcohol taste, maybe a bit to much for my taste.
Other lower alcohol IPAs are
Wells, Eagle IPA and Cains, IPA both from England
Eagle IPA, 3.6% amber colour with a poor head, some hops in the aroma, watery IPA taste.
Cains, IPA, 3.5%, amber no with head, very little aroma, watery taste and not much hops at all, very poor. It was like a very cheep 2.0% supermarket own brand beer.
Two stronger IPAs both from Scotland by BrewDog.
Punk IPA, 6.0% pale gold with no head, aroma of old pub, some grapefruit very bitter hop taste, did not like, I think this must be what a lot of the USA produced IPA is like.
Tesco Finest American Double IPA, 9.2% deep amber colour with a very thin head, sweet citrus and blackcurrant aroma (dont know what citrus though), taste is hops hops hops, the would USA would love it, I didn't it was overpowering and foul.
Told you I wasn't keen on over hopped beers, and as I also said there are many good IPAs out there and I will be reviewing more soon.