Total Score: 7.1/10
Anchor… IPA!? When did this happen!? Why wasn’t I informed!? Anchor, San Franciscan brewers whom you know of as the owners of the Steam Beer trademark, whoops – forgot that little TM symbol, now I’m getting sued. Anyway their brews, the aforementioned Steam Beer™ (that’s better) and their Liberty Ale (not the California Lager – which is average at best) are pretty tasty. I have big hopes pinned on this IPA. Big, big (hop-related) hopes.
Poured from a 355ml (I love their teardrop design) bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Deep clear rust body with a luscious 2cm off-white head that soon dies back to a patchy lace. Tis alright looking, nothing exceptional though. 7/10.
S: Straight up with sweet caramel notes, a hint of honey as well, interesting as the hops are far fainter than most American IPAs which tend to crutch themselves on hops quite a bit (not that I’m complaining but it is refreshing to have the occasional American IPA that isn’t a hop dumping ground). The hop characters are floral and piney and provide a bitter backing to what whiffs of a sweet brew. 7/10.
T: Flavour is starts out with that caramel/honey base, follows through to floral/citric/pine hop characters… then it take a bizarre left turn with dryness that would make a Munich Helles Lager blush coyly. Finish has a slight bitter black tea tannin. I would be interested to know which hops were involved in making this IPA. It has a mixture of new and old world hop flavours going on. 7/10.
M: Mid to light bodied with a dense carbonation, well done but needs more body. 8/10.
D: Straight away – not my favourite IPA (that honour belongs to Deschutes Fresh Squeezed, of which I finished my last bottle the other night *sniff*) however it is an interesting take on a style that the market is now flooded with. It isn’t Anchors best (Liberty Ale is) but I think it could grow on me if all the great IPAs like Fresh Squeezed, Founders Centennial, Hop Ottin’ and Torpedo were suddenly wiped off the planet in some freakish unexplained occurrence… huh, that doesn’t sell this beer very well does it? Oh well, I’m not here to sell it for you Anchor. 7/10.
Food match: I need a glass of water, my mouth is dry… oh yeah food match… err, seafood.