Archive for Belgian IPA

78 – Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor

Oh lordie we have ourselves some beer porn!

Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor
brewery: Brouwerij Het Anker – http://www.hetanker.be/
style: Belgian IPA
abv: 8.0%
serving size: 22oz
glass used: snifter
price: $7.99

Overview
“Hopsinjoor” is a wordplay to for one thing the several hops which were used, and on the other hand the typical character of Mechelen of Gouden Carolus: the figure “opsinjoor” is intertwined with the history of Mechelen (see: www.opsinjoorke.be/Opsinjoorke/opsinjoor.htm).

4 types of hops are used: Golding, Spalt, Hallertau and Saaz. These hops were fractioned at several times in the cooking process in order to keep a maximum of aroma.

Regarding to taste we can say that the beer has a gentle, but nevertheless bitter aftertaste. Gold-yellow colour. Hoppy aroma.

What I think
Just LOOK at that head! Sweet God almighty I just stepped back and admired it for awhile. The body sits with an incredible golden hue which if you’re strictly an IPA drinker this could be a curve ball for you. The aroma was challenging at first. I picked up strong citrus upfront and that followed with a nose-full of hops. The taste brought on a sweetness that I was expecting but the carbonation was a bit high for my taste but the flavor was balanced with the amount of hops used. The finish was really what perked my interest. It started out sweet and ended semi-dry. Complexity is a great way to sum up this one.

Spoon’s rating: A-

Comments

65 – Flying Dog Raging Bitch

This was a tasty treat from Chris at Bocktown. I think she was tired of hearing me whine about not having this yet so with growler in hand I caved. Many thanks to her and the Bocktown staff for yet another great craft beer trip!

Flying Dog 20th Anniversary Raging Bitch
brewery:
Flying Dog – flyingdogales.com
style: Belgian Style IPA
abv: 8.5%
serving size: 64oz
glass used: pint
price: n/a

Overview
Bitches come in a variety of forms, but there’s never been something as sassy as Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch Belgian IPA. An American IPA augmented with Belgian yeast, our 20th anniversary beer jumps out of the glass and nips at your taste buds with its delicate hop bitterness. At 8.3% ABV, this bitch is dangerously drinkable.

What I think
Flying Dog doesn’t get enough credit in this area for the all out greatness of their beers. The Canis Minor series is probably the best variety pack available in the commonwealth. When Chris called that she had Raging Bitch in for a limited run I knew I had to get there.

Pouring form the growler you can’t fully appreciate the deliciousness in the picture of the head that was around when I poured it. But since I was a putz about lighting is fizzled quick. The aroma on this was straight up hops with a slight Belgian twang. None of that sissy nancy triple hopped Miller Lite bullshit. A fistful of Amarillo beating on your nostrils. Nice imagery eh?

The taste… ohmyfreakinglord the taste. Give me a moment… ahhhh hops, hops, little citrus, Belgian sweetness and more hops. It’s like chewing gum that Violet eats in Willy Wonka. Oh the next course… YUM! The finish was straight up rockstar goodness. Smooth with a slight hop aftertaste that was very flavorful.

Spoon’s rating: A+

Comments

45 – Stone Brewing Cali-Belgique IPA

hdh45_stonecalibelgique

As you can see from the picture above I had some fun with this week’s selection. I’m always up for cooking with beer and since this past Sunday was Mother’s Day I figured it was my best chance to show mom the versatility of beer. Thanks to Tim at The Size of Life for sending me this bottle. It’s not available in PA so I let out an extra “squeeee”. Yes, you read that correctly.

The photo gallery of Mother’s Day Dinner I made with Stone can be found here.

Stone Brewing Cali-Belgique IPA
brewery:
Stone Brewing – stonebrew.com
beer webpage:
http://www.stonebrew.com/cali/index.php
style:
Belgian IPA
abv:
6.9%
serving size:
22oz
glass used:
snifter
price: n/a

Overview
When reading the name “Stone Cali-Belgique IPA”, “Cali” hints that it is a California style IPA, and this brew has an undeniable Belgian influence, indicated by the word “Belgique” (which is how Belgium’s French-speaking population says the word “Belgian”; the Dutch speaking Belgians say “Belgie”). We carefully selected a Belgian yeast strain that illuminates a fascinating new aspect of the beer that is otherwise quite simply Stone IPA.

The result is both completely new and different, while still being recognizable as a Stone Brew – and Stone IPA in particular. Think of it as an otherwise identical twin to Stone IPA that was raised in a Belgian culture. Literally.

What I think
Based on looks alone this poured like a typical Belgian instead of an IPA. The hue was hazy yellow but a creamy beaut of a head. The aroma was strong with hops, floral and spices. At this point IPA wasn’t even on the radar for me which was starting to be a concern knowing Stone’s history for brewing a muscular IPA. The taste caught me off guard.  Piny, fruity, sweet then hoppy and finished not as bitter as I was anticipating. To say it was complex is putting it lightly and why I stress that you can’t appreciate a beer in a 6oz sample.

Spoon’s rating: B

Comments (4)

23 – Green Flash Le Freak

You can thank that flu thing going around that knocked me out last week for a lack of updates. Still fighting the bugger but at least I can enjoy a beverage now!

Le Freak
brewery:
Green Flash – greenflashbrew.com
style: Belgian IPA
abv:
9.2
serving size:
22oz
glass used:
wine glass

A purpose of this site is not only to inform you about different views of craft beers out there but also motivate me to try different styles and find the appreciation that others have. I have no problem saying I’m not a fan of Belgian beer.  I know, it’s a sin. I’ve never been a fan of sweet, citrus or anything of that nature. It is because of this that I had to try the Green Flash Le Freak Belgian IPA.  A Belgian IPA? Yeah that’s what I said also.

At first I enjoyed a nose full of citrus and spices which lead to a punch in the nose of hops which really appealed to me. At first drink I wasn’t thrilled at all. In fact, I was disappointed. A few more sips and i started to taste the complexity of this beer and pick out different flavors. By the time I was finished I was craving more. Never has a beer started out with me ready to discard it and pull a comeback mirroring that of 3 goal rally late in the third to win 3-2 in regulation. That would be hockey, not soccer.

I always believed that if you truly want to sample a beer you need to have a pint, not a sampler glass. This beer re-enforced that belief for me. While sample glasses are nice, some beers need some space to knock your socks off. The head was a good 2 inches full and thick. The golden orange body was medium as it resembled a Belgian and also a light IPA. It had the flavor of an IPA but with a Belgian twang to it.

At $11.50 I would pick this up for a special occasion otherwise I’ll wait for my next one and savor that moment.

Spoon’s rating: A

Comments (2)