Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Port Brewing High Tide Fresh Hop IPA

Fresh hops! Fresh hops everywhere! Fresh hop ales and IPAs are the new black for craft beers. Take any ordinary ale, fresh hop it, and BLAMMO...instant upgrade in bitterness, aromas, and oily texture. I'm not complaining; hell, almost every time I see fresh hop on the label, I pick it up and give it a try...just like this little fella which I got from Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

Appearance: Perfect crisp golden color with 2+ fingers of fluffy lacy head. Slightly opaque, though I don't see any bits of sediment floating around.

Smell: A nice mixture of pine and floral/herbal hops, as well as some citrus/lemon scents as a complement. I was hoping for a little more pronounced hop aromas but that's ok. There are also hints of sweet malts that you can guess will be the backbone on the taste.

Taste: Yup, a light caramel malt background then a kick to the teeth with bitterness. Any of the hop flavors you would expect from the smell though is overpowered from raw hop bitterness, though. A slight let down for some, a big positive for hopheads.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, good carbonation, and a little oily from the hop resins, just what you would expect. One of my favorite parts from fresh hop ales is the oily coat over the palate you get while drinking them.

Drinkability: One bomber for me tonight is no problem, and I wish I had bought a second. This beer could almost qualify as a session beer at 6.5% abv (especially for other hopheads who would welcome the bitterness with open tongues...err...arms...no tongues was right). The bottle date was 9/21/10, maybe drinking it two months from the bottle date affected the lack of (extreme) hop aromas, but it did not take away from the experience too negatively. 8.5/10

Glass type: Dogfish Head bullet/pint glass
Serving type: Bottle, 22 oz.

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