Red Hook

Posted on 08.15.11 8:25PM under IPA, Tasting

Rather than run out of beer or more correctly, rather than drink all my lambic in a few short weeks, I decided to *gasp* buy some beer today.

Red Hook IPA was a good deal at $12.99 for a 12-pack and I felt it stood a good chance at tasting pretty good.

Apparently I’ve been living under a home-brewed rock for half the past decade or so. Because I’ve missed many iterations of Red Hook’s packaging. I should have known that the alliance with AB would have meant more than better distribution and regional brewing. There’s also the marketing power (e.g. selling packaging)

So I definitely recognize the first one. I have a vague sense that maybe one or two of the middle three existed. And I hold the final one in my hand. It’s cute. The bottle seems so small and light, but yet it is 12 ounces. The caps are fun and have different things under them, like a Magic Hat (but no words).

Oh and the beer. It’s actually pretty good. At first it smells (and therefore tastes) like perfume. That’s a flowery dry hop I guess. I wonder which one. Google is not an immediate help. Willamette? Cascade? I’m not sure either sounds right.

The bitterness is underwhelming, and the overall hop presence is soft and fragrant. I normally like a harsh/abrasive piney/fruity hop presence. Simcoe/Amarillo/Columbus. But this is still pretty good. At 6.5% ABV, it’s in the sweet spot for an IPA, IMO. I can see how this is a good compromise for a brewery that knows how to make great beer, and also needs to appeal to a rather wide audience. I would definitely get this again, should I nearly run out of beer some time in the future, or find myself out where this might be an offering on draft.

A good solid B+/A- in my unscientific book. Way better than $15.99 for 12 Sam Adams any day.

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