|A winning hand?|
I love, love, love India Pale Ales. L-O-V-E, love them! The IPA is absolutely my favorite beer style. Specifically, I prefer Northwest style IPA's, with their hop forward flavor profiles. Big, bitter, piney, citrus-y hops. The best IPA's provide a healthy sting to the taste buds. A pucker that makes you shake your head for just a second and go "BLUH-UH" and then go right back in for another sip. Yes!
Portland, Oregon truly lives up to the nickname of Beervana. There are so many awesome breweries here in Stumptown, and many of them have absolutely perfected the humble IPA. That's not surprising. We have the water. We have the hops. We have an infinite number of craft beer fanatics that demand awesome beers and a multitude of talented brewers willing to oblige. Yes, you should be jealous.
Tonight, I'm drinking a bomber of Hopworks Urban Brewery's (HUB) Ace of Spades Imperial India Pale Ale. The bomber was a a bit pricey at $8.99. The label reported an ABV of 8.6% and 100 IBU's. No specific naming of the hops used in this brew. Was it worth the price of admission? Let's see.
The beer poured into my IPA glass a clear, amber/orange color with a foamy white head. The head rose up to slightly more than a finger thick and dissipated at a moderate rate. A solid cap of lacing was left behind throughout most of the drink.
Aroma was light, resinous pine and citrus hops up front. Orange and a whiff of grapefruit. Lots of tropical fruit. Floral, herbal notes punctuated throughout. Earthy. Spicy. Caramel malt.
Taste followed the nose. Not particularly dank, but respectable hops bitterness up front. Herbal, spicy. Pleasant tropical fruit behind orange and grapefruit flavors. Sweet caramel malt with some earthy, grassy notes that provided some unexpected complexity.
Medium to slightly full mouthfeel. Relatively low carbonation. Some noticeable alcohol warmth at the end, but still a very smooth, slightly slick finish.
Overall, this is a very easy drinking IIPA. Perhaps a little on the milder side for a serious hophead, but probably a perfect "starter" imperial IPA for anyone willing to take their first plunge. Good stuff! I'm giving Ace of Spades a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4 AND a Droolie. The Wonder Beagle was drooling up a puddle for this brew.