Review Date 5/12/2010
The other day I just finished reading Pete Brown's amazing book, Hops and Glory, which is basically the story of India Pale Ale but told in a way that you've never heard before. You should really read it, and while you do, I suggest having a few hoppy IPAs within reach, as you'll likely develop a thirst for them as I did.
Anyway, as I was reading, I was inspired to pick up some India Pale Ale, and one of the ones I happened upon was Rocky Mountain IPA from Colorado's Fort Collins brewery. I hadn't tried this one before, but the few other products I've had from the brewery have been rather good. So, there was precedent for this one.
The brewery says this beer is "balanced to perfection" and further describes it thusly:
"An I.P.A. by definition is liberally hopped and higher in alcohol. We made Rocky Mountain I.P.A. by dry hopping for an intense floral aroma and adding a generous helping of malt to create a backbone stable enough to support the characteristic bitterness of the beer."
Rocky Mountain IPA has an alcohol content around 6.5% by volume, which is in the range for the style. It also has close to 80 IBUs of bitterness, very impressive indeed.
Fort Collins Rocky Mountain IPA pours to a hazy orange color with a thick rocky head formation and an herbal, flowery hop nose. A fine layer of Brussels lace clings to the sides of my glass as the liquid descends. In the palate, there's a good amount of caramel flavor to form the body, but the hops are the main focus here and they quickly let you know that.
At first, they're big and bold in the aroma department, very flowery indeed. That comes from the dry hopping, of course. In fact, there's an almost Orval-like herbal component here, That slowly segues into an intensely dry, long, and lingering herbal hop bitterness that I instantly fell in love with.
This is a hophead IPA, and one I could drink at length. It nicely melds the malt and hops into one big production that's well worth trying, especially with spicy foods. Why not try it with a plate of chicken curry?
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.