Monday, November 25, 2013

Castle Danger Local Fresh Hop IPA Review

Name: Castle Danger Local Fresh Hop IPA
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 7%

Earlier this year when I was visiting Duluth, I did a review of Castle Danger Brewing's George Hunter Stout and found it to be quite good. Well now that I'm living in Duluth, I think I'll be going back there more, just like I did last weekend! It was a cold windy and rainy afternoon that was reminiscent of a Nor'Easter we had just a few weeks ago. We were north of Two Harbors when it started picking up and we could feel the wind push on the car. But lo and behold we had made it.

While I was at the brewery (you can find the pictures in my George Hunter Review), I had the chance to talk with Clint MacFarlane and his plans for the new brewery that's scheduled to be open for business in Spring 2014. During this time, we talked about the Fresh Hop IPA he had made with Cascade Hops and Brewer's Gold hops made locally from Brule, WI. Since I've been craving a good Wet Hop IPA, and a local one nonetheless, I decided to make it my growler of choice for the visit.

Local Fresh Hop IPA pours a nice clear orange color with a soapy filmy head, sparse lacing and high amount of visible carbonation.

The aroma gives off a fairly pungent caramel malt and citrus hop scent with some grapefruit and grassy notes. While not particularly complex, each component is vibrant in it's own way.

Citrus hops, caramel malts and grapefruits are fairly prominent in the flavor with a bittersweet resiny aftertaste. Much like the aroma, it's not what I'd call complex but still very vibrant for what it is. On top of that, it actually has that wet hop taste that has been eluding me for a while!

The body itself is pretty lightweight but contrary to my earlier observations, the carbonation is actually quite mild. On top of that, it's got a very smooth & creamy texture, giving it extra points in terms of drinkability.

Local Fresh Hop IPA is an incredibly smooth & well-balanced wet hop IPA. At the same time, it isn't overwhelming either like others in the same category. I would consider this to be a very approachable wet hop IPA and I could definitely see this being a regular visitor in my fridge. Make the trip up to the brewery, grab a growler and see for yourself.

Castle Danger Local Fresh Hop IPA - 9/10

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