Did you miss us?! Jess and I took a four day trip back to our hometown to visit family, and although we had posts all lined up and ready to post while we were away, our days ended up so packed with events we scarcely had enough energy to drag ourselves to bed at the end of each day, let alone get online. But never fear, we are back and have plenty of entertaining and informative posts planned for July! (Check back tomorrow for a guide on the best beers to go with your Independence Day cookout).
Our first review of the month is New Belgium Brewing Company’s Ranger India Pale Ale. This beer rises to a decent 6.5% abv, although it is more like a British IPA in the way the hops don’t punch you in the mouth like they do with an American IPA.
Aroma: Smells intensely of grape and grapefruit, and has a very strong hoppiness on the nose. There isn’t much malty aroma on this beer.
Appearance: Vibrant pale straw color shows well with a billowy, rocky pale head that diminishes quickly, leaving a pale covering on the beer, and a nice lace down the glass.
Flavor: Mild front on the hops, but they come in strong on the end of the taste, like taking you out to a romantic dinner and then asking permission for a kiss before saying goodnight. Bright hoppiness up front, but the flavor is not as overpowering as with most American IPA’s. The alcohol flavor doesn’t go over the top; it’s just enough to be noticed. Surprisingly, the finish is hoppier than the initial taste.
Mouthfeel: This is a medium weight brew with light carbonation and higher alcohol than most. Late hops cleanse the palate nicely.
Overall Impression: This is a good non-session beer. It can even be enjoyed by the non-IPA drinker (even Jess enjoyed it, and she claims to despise all IPAs). This is a fine example of a traditional British IPA and it will still go well with spicy foods, especially Thai, Indian, and Mexican dishes.
Check back later this week! We paired this great beer with an over-the-top Mexican style Fajita Salad which turned out to be the perfect match for Ranger IPA.