Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Almanac Beer Company - Fresh Hop IPA-Cascade

If you're a fan of all things hoppy, we're getting into what's sure to be a pretty exciting time of the year for you- hop harvest time! Because of the fresh hops pouring into breweries around the country, expect to see a lot of wet hopped beers hitting bottleshops and tap lines near you in the very near future (if you haven't noticed them already). One of the first wet hopped beers I noticed this year was Almanac's new single-hopped Fresh Hop IPA-Cascade.

Single hop beers are a great way to get acquainted with everything that one hop variety has to offer and there's no better time to experiment with single hops than when they are at their freshest. Even if you haven't heard of Cascade hops, you've probably tried them. They're one of the most popular varieties out there and can be found in beers like Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale and Anchor's Old Foghorn Barleywine . Let's see how this hop stands on its own.

Fresh Hop IPA-Cascade pours a clear amber color with a one finger bone-white head that leaves some nice tracks of lace down the glass. The smell is undoubtedly hops, with an earthy and leafy hop presence coming to mind right away. Some orange rind, light pine, oak and caramel malt are in there as well.

Cascade hops aren't known for being intensely bitter, so this doesn't taste like a lot of the palate pummeling IPAs that we've become so used to here on the West Coast. Instead, there's a spicy, earthy hop note that meanders over the palate, bringing some pine and slightly bready malt with it. The finish brings some light grapefruit, mint and a nice hop spiciness. Again, if you're in the mood for an IPA that's going to make your tongue cry for mercy, this isn't going to be your cup of tea. But if you're looking to learn more about hops and hop varietals, you'll probably enjoy this one a lot. I sure did.

Final Grade: A-

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 129

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