Elysian Avatar Jasmine IPA

This is great. Hoppy, refreshing, hint of flowery Jasmine. Just makes it go down smooth. Makes me reconsider an idea I had for a homebrew...maybe IPA's can have some of this floral aroma and flavor too. Curious...

Anyway, too lazy to take a photo and give a full review. But it's got a nice color, it's crystal clear, has a great flavor, and is delicious. Jasmine is the perfect amount, you get a hint but not overwhelming.

Company site

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Hale's Ales Mongoose IPA

What prompted me to start blogging again is the fact that I'm in Seattle for work. My hotel is right above a Whole Foods and they have a great beer selection. Since the Pacific Northwest is the cradle of American Hops, I've tried a couple of local IPA's to see how they craft them out here.

Yesterday I had the Mongoose IPA from Hale's Ales, which is local to Seattle. There was a note from Whole Foods calling it out, so I figured I'd give it a try. The bottle says they use 50 lbs of hops per batch, including Amarillo leaf hops. It also uses pale malted barley, Crystal malts, Centennial and Nugget hops, Hale's special yeast and filtered water.

Well, it had hops. I had it yesterday so I don't remember all the details. But it was really good and a great IPA. Nice flavor, great bitterness, typical NW aroma. But what was nice was no cascades...so you didn't quite have that hop profile in a lot of PNW hop beers. It must have been fairly strong because after the 22oz. I felt pretty good.

So yeah, if you're out on in the Seattle area it's a nice local to try. Although I suspect there are better (and the guy at Whole Foods today agreed).

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Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA

Pure heaven. This beer is perfect. Its nicely settled between the hoppiness of the 60 and the rich sweet maltiness of the 120. Its heavy and rich and complex yet the hop bitterness and flavor aren't lost in a sea of caramely malts. Absolutely delicious.

Label says it's got a ridiculous amount of 2 row English barley and a single continuous 90 minute hop addition. Then dry hopped. Well whatever they do I hope they keep doing it. Just wish it came in 6 packs and wasn't so expensive.

Love it!

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Brooklyn Brewery IPA

Flight is delayed so I was very happy to find a place with this Brooklyn IPA. I drink a lot of Brooklyn but I don't think I be had this one, which is weird given my love of IPAs. At any rate its a pretty good offering. Nice light color, smells good, and easy to drink. Its got that edge to it that is representative of IPAs. I get a hop aroma and a bit of bitter, but not too much of that fresh green hop flavor I've com to love from the hop crazy micros. Make no mistake this is a good beer from a brewery that continues to impress and grow. But if you're like me and love that big bitter hop flavor then this will not knock your socks off. But I'd go for it over most brews typically on tap.

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Arcadia IPA

Arcadia Ales is from Michigan and they put together some tasty brews. This IPA I had at The Half Pint near Washington square park. It was really great. Nice color, nice flavor, good hops. Not much else to say but that it's just pretty good. It was nicely balanced, not overly aggressive with the hops, and just tasted nice and refreshing.

Give it a try if you see it.

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Long Trail IPA

I love Long Trail, their standard beer is fantastic. In some weird way it's one that I remember as really getting me excited about beer. I remember having it for the first time on a trip to Killington, VT. It was delicious and I still buy it.

But this isn't that beer. This is their IPA. I was really excited because I love Long Trail and I love IPAs. But sadly it left me a little flat. I mean, it's good and I'd drink it again. But with so many great IPAs out there it didn't really stand out from the pack. So get it if it's on the beer list and there aren't many other options. But there's other IPAs that I prefer out there.

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Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

Had it last night at Blue Smoke on 27th St. This is one of my favorite IPAs. It has a strong hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma. But it's nicely balanced so it doesn't hit you over the head and leave you reeling. I don't have detailed tasting notes, but I can tell you it went great with the Kansas City dry-rub!

Update 3/15/08:
Man, this is a great beer! My local bodega started stocking it, which is awesome (although it's super expensive there). This is probably my favorite Dogfish Head. It just has so many things going for it. Beautiful color...not too light and not too dark. The hops is clearly evident, but it's there to make this beer good...not to make sure you know they used a ton of hops. It's supremely balanced. The bitterness sets off the malt beautifully.

I can't stress enough that this is one of my favorites. I could drink it all night long over and over again.

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Arcadia Hop Rocket

The label of this beer says it's made with English 2-row barley and Pacific NW hops. It's a nice, slightly cloud beer with a deep amber color. It has a vigorous carbonation, and reminds me a lot of Harpoon IPA, but is slightly sweeter. It has a very floral aroma that is matched by a subtle hops bitterness; the gf says it stings the nose a little. It's not overpoweringly bitter thanks to a healthy heaping of malt, which I assume is where the amber color comes from.

Overall this is a great IPA and I would definitely buy it again. The only thing is I detect a slightly off aftertaste. My advice is to just keep drinking it and that will probably go away.

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Souther Tier Unearthly IPA

(image from TimeOut)

This image is from a timeout article and I used it because I had this beer for the first time at Spitzer's Corner in the LES. This gastropub is great, and this beer is F***KING incredible.

It's a brilliant beer from a brewery that someone recently turned me on to. Southern Tier claims it's a double IPA, and it's got a thick, deep flavor with a hint of citrus. It feels very heavy as you drink it, yet somehow doesn't fill you up and overpower you somehow. It's a miracle. It has a sweet, deep flavor of malt but is balanced by the strong, aromatic, and flavorful hops. It's awesome. At 11%, it's a barn-burner but there's something about this beer that will make me order it anytime I see it.

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Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA

We went to Brother Jimmy's BBQ on 8th Avenue before a Rangers game (kicked the crap out of Florida!) and I had a couple of the Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA's. I don't see Flying Dog around too much for some reason.

This beer is very hoppy, which I like. It's also rather bitter and just oozes hops. It's really awesome if you're into strong hop everything. It's definitely not for the faint of heart and amateurs might think it's nasty.

I also found it had a clean finish for being so intensely hoppy.

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Avery IPA

We went to 10 Degrees on St. Marks and I saw the Avery IPA on the menu. I was excited because I'd read somewhere that Avery is a great brewery.

This beer is a very smooth, rather gentle IPA. It's not overly hoppy and is probably a great way for people to get into IPAs. It's really very good and balanced and doesn't try to blow your taste buds away with crazy hops.

I like this beer and would definitely turn to it if I didn't want to go for the huge flavors one night.

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