Sunday, 9 October 2011

Hop Head India Pale Ale

I recently sampled the Hop Head IPA from Kelowna, British Columbia's Tree Brewing Company.  Sold in cool 330mL bottles that are not cluttered with too much labelling, the Hop Head contains 5.6% alcohol.  HH pours a slightly cloudy amber colour.  It displays moderate carbonation and lace as well as a thin but persistent head.
Hop Head has a rich, sweet aroma.  It smells of caramel.  The taste is briefly malty and toasty before making an abrupt left turn toward sharp bitterness.  After the initial jolt of malt, this brew is all hops all the time.  Likewise, the aftertaste is extremely bitter.

This is a pretty good beer, as West Coast IPAs go.  However, as with most beers in the West Coast style, there is simply too much emphasis on hops, at the expense of a more complex and compelling flavour.  The brew is enjoyable, but a little more character would be welcome.

Rating:  7.5 out of 10.

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