Thursday, November 20, 2014

Flat Earth Northwest Passage Review



Name: Flat Earth Northwest Passage
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.5%

It was 3 years ago this month that I visited Flat Earth Brewing for the first time back when I was living in the Twin Cities. Prior to going there, I had only recently heard of the brewery via word of mouth as this was during a time when I was still familiarizing myself with Minnesota's craft beer scene. This was also back when Flat Earth was located at their old facility located along West 7th Street.

During my tour, I got to try out a wide variety of beers and all of them were pretty good however there was one beer that stuck out to me the most: Northwest Passage IPA, named after the Canadian shipping route that goes through the lower portion of the Arctic Circle. Now it wasn't the flavor that made it memorable but the IBUs which clocked in at 115. Back then, it had the highest IBUs of any beer that was made in the Midwest and I'm not sure if this is still the case now.

In any case, I have already reviewed a wide array of Flat Earth's beers but I've never gotten around to reviewing Northwest Passage, despite my familiarity with this beer. Let's give this beer a proper review.

Northwest Passage pours a clear darker orange color with some mild visible carbonation. The head is thin in terms of appearance but it has some good lacing and it comes across as somewhat foamy.

The aroma has a fairly strong piney hop profile upfront with a strong caramel malt base. On the back of the nose is a strong grapefruitiness and citrus hoppiness. I'm not picking up on too much

The flavor is very piney & bitter hop forward with a solid toffee & carmael maltiness before the aftertaste opens up to a very strong hop bitterness with just a touch of yeastiness. Those 115 IBUs really start to shine through particularly on the back end of the flavor.

The body is on the lighter side but the carbonation is more on the stronger side. When you consider the flavor, I would've liked the carbonation to be lighter but it's a minor gripe.

Northwest Passage will provide hopheads the hop fix that they crave. It may be a little too bitter for some but I found this to be a very flavorful IPA and it's absolutely worth checking out should you get the opportunity.

Flat Earth Northwest Passage - 9/10

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