Here’s another treasure I “hopped” upon (pardon the pun) while vacationing in Rhode Island this year: Cisco Brewers Indie Pale Ale. Brewed in Nantucket, Massachusetts, the brewery has this to say about their beer: “Finally a hoppy East Coast IPA!”. I’m not quite sure what that’s all about. The now-defunct Tremont Brewery was making a wonderfully hoppy IPA back in the nineties in Cisco’s own home state. Ten too, Victory’s Hop Devil is also an East Coast IPA with a formidable amount of hops.
At any rate, I will say that Cisco’s IPA is indeed a hoppy beer, and a very tasty one. I bought a bottle at Haxton’s Liquors on Toll Gate Road in Warwick, Rhode Island for $5.99, not so bad as prices go these days. Interestingly enough, Cisco sells beer online, though for some reason they are not currently offering the IPA.
According to their website, they will ship a minimum of six 22-ounce bottles within the continental United States for just $6 a bottle. You can even pick and choose six-different brews if you like. Shipping runs from $24-$36 depending on where you live, and they can’t ship to PA or NH. Still, this isn’t a bad deal at all, and a great way to try beers that are not widely distributed outside New England.
Cisco Indie Pale Ale pours to a bright orange amber color with a towering rocky foam head formation and an herbal, spicy dry hop nose. Indeed, this one was so sudsy that it took a few minutes before I could see the liquid rise a bit in the bottom. Poured into a cylindrical half liter glass, the suds rose all the way to the top. Once the foam settles, though, this one is certainly worth the wait. A sip reveals a solid caramel malt body that has about three seconds to prove its mettle before the hops attack: herbal, citrusy, and packed with resiny goodness. The finish is immensely bitter, and lingers on the tongue with a long, dry herbal bitter buzz.
This is a wonderful India Pale Ale at about average strength for the style at 6.5% alcohol by volume. An excellent West Coast styled IPA brewed on the East Coast with the new Summit hop variety, Indie Pale Ale is well worth a try.
Update: 2/27/2014: Pint glass night tonight at Taco Mac, and Cisco is the beer of the month. Light resin and citrus in the nose, thick brussels lace, chewy caramel up front, then the expected citrus and resin hit. Not really over the top, but they are there. Actually seems a bit less hoppy than in the bottle up front, but I do really enjoy the BIG bitter grassy hops in the finish, they linger on the palate for quite a while. Went marvelously with an order of Steak Fajitas, and about average in price these days at $6.25 for a full mug pour.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.