Friday, May 3, 2013

HERMITAGE BREWING's "SIMCOE" IPA

The modern phenomenon of making one base beer for IPAs, then varying the hop that's used within it to highlight each hop's uniqueness, is a very cool one. MIKKELLER did it; I think someone else did too. San Jose's HERMITAGE BREWING have done it as well, packaging them up in 22-ounce bottles and retailing them for good measure. I was fortunate enough to have their CITRA SINGLE-HOP IPA last year, and raved about it here. Everyone loves that Citra, don't they? I've been wanting to buy that one in a bottle - let me know if you've got a line on one - but settled for the "SIMCOE SINGLE HOP IPA" yesterday instead, and then settled in with it last night.

You know the simcoe hop. It's what gives Pliny The Elder - and many other IPAs - that piney, resinous quality. The citra, on the other hand, is a big, fruity, citrus-packed punch. Hermitage's showcase of the simcoe hop in this beer is an excellent forum for it to show itself off. Piney and a little on the grapefruit-y side as well, this beer is more dry than other IPAs and had a wonderful fresh smell. It's 7% alcohol, and takes a little bit of adjustment when you're used to a more fruit-forward, "west coast" style of IPA - though of course it's all in the eye and tongue of the beholder, isn't it? I thought it was really good, and I'm going to try their El Dorado version next. 7.5/10.

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