More beers from the housewarming party. This particular brew was one of my own purchasing. It was between a case of Kirkland Signature’s Variety Pack (IPA, Pale Ale, Amber Ale and German Lager) and Bud Light. I think I chose the lesser of two evils…
Normally I’d put a little write-up of what the brewing company has to say about their beer on their website, but I couldn’t find anything after exhaustive research (i.e.e quick Google search). According to the back label:
This classic handcrafted ale, brewed with generous amounts of American hops, including Cascade, Centennial and Amarillo, has a complex character and is very hoppy in both flavor and aroma. By using barley malt, Munich malt and English crystal malt, this IPA is a delicious medium bodied beer bursting with flavor. A true India Pale Ale.
And they say there’s no more truth in advertising. I find it very hard to believe that 50 IBUs can be considered “very hoppy” even by a docile palette, but let’s see.
Appearance: A clear brew with a reddish-amber hue. It certainly is pretty. The head is white and leaves significant lacing along the glass.
Smell: Not too much going on here. The primary smell is hops but I can’t quite place the type. Dank, maybe? Cascade, Amarillo and Centennial are also supposed to have a floral or citrusy smell, but I’m not getting much of that.
Taste: If you tried to pass this off as an IPA on the West Coast you might be charged with a crime. This is an IPA only in the sense that it is hoppier than it’s Pale Ale cousin. A brief bit of hop bitterness followed by a relatively bland malty, bready flavor. Just not a hell of a lot here.
Mouthfeel: Your standard IPA. It clings to your teeth. Decent carbonation. Relatively crisp. This is a good IPA for people who like Pale Ales.
Final Verdict: 2.5 out of 5. This is free, right?
If I wasn’t trying to supply a legitimate quantity of beer for a party, I wouldn’t have bought this beer. Look, it’s not bad… but it’s not good. Calling it average would insult a lot of craft brewers. This is a Anheuser-Busch IPA. Watered-down (possibly literally) for mass consumption. Like it or not, craft beer geeks, we are still the minority. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take offense to an IPA with less hoppy flavor than Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale (review forthcoming). If someone bought a case of this for a BBQ, absolutely drink it. Beer is beer, especially if it’s free. Plus you’ll be doing your party-host a favor and not leaving him with 90% of a case of CostCo beer to finish by himself (he says staring down 90% of a case of CostCo beer).