Having just enjoyed a glass of
India Ale, I had my palate whetted, but not satiated, for hops. So, I
decided to pop a bottle of another IPA tonight, this time an American rather
than English one. American IPAs, by law, must have a minimum IBU rating of
1794, after all. At least I think it’s a law.
Anyway, the beer I reached for was Left Hand Brewing’s Warrior IPA.
And no, it wasn’t named after the Patty Smyth song. It’s named for Warrior
hops, with which the beer is made. Warriors are known for their high
bittering properties, though they can add some aromatic properties, too.
Warrior IPA uses fresh Warrior hops from Yakima, Washington, one of the
prime hop growing regions in America.
They don’t use Warriors exclusively, though. Centennials and Magnums are
also tossed in to the brew kettle. Whole flower hops are used instead of
pellets, and the beer is dry-hopped to add aroma. Alcohol is appropriate to
the style at 6.6% by volume. Pale and crystal malts are used here.
I’ve some to expect great things from Left Hand and Warrior IPA did not let
me down. I found it very drinkable, and I think the assertive hop character
would make this beer a natural with spicy fare like Buffalo wings-perhaps on
game day? The one caveat that it was pricey her in Atlanta at about $6 for a
22 ounce bomber bottle, a little less than the going rate for a whole
six-pack of Sierra Nevada Celebration ale, a beer in a similar vein I like
as much as this one.
Left Hand Warrior IPA pours to a cloudy orange color with a thick
foamy head and delightful citric hoppy nose. A thick layer of Brussels lace
clings to the sides of my glass as the liquid descends. The first sip
reveals a juicy caramel malt palate that has just a quick second to assert
itself before the hops drown it out.
And they do. Big, wonderful, citric hops that throw powerful notes of
orange, lemon, and especially grapefruit at you. They’re potent up front,
and intensify into the finish, where the Warriors really show themselves
with a really big mouth-puckering bitter finish and flowery aroma. This beer
is all about the hops, folks.
I like the fact that, although really hoppy, this IPA doesn’t try to be an
Imperial IPA monster. It’s just a really good every day American IPA, and it
gets a lot of mileage out of 60 IBUs. Packed with lucious fresh hop flavor,
the Warrior is sure to please.
Warriors, come out to play. .
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.