Saturday, October 11, 2014

Cascade Lakes Brewing Company - IRA

Individual Retirement Ale?
What is an IRA? Let's look that one up, shall we? A definition doesn't immediately pop up when you google India Red Ale--go ahead, try it. See what I mean? The best I could find was a snippet on somebody else's blog that said an India Red Ale, or IRA, has "the body and color of an amber ale with the hop profile of an IPA (India Pale Ale).

Tonight, I'm drinking one such mysterious chimera of a brew: Cascade Lakes Brewing Company's IRA. The beer was purchased at the little tienda down the street from my house for $3.50 for the 22 oz. bomber. That's a decent price for a nice craft beer. The label proclaimed an ABV 6.8% and IBU's at 78.

The beer poured into my pint glass a slightly hazy, coppery amber color with an off-white head. The head rose up to almost two fingers thick and dissipated slowly. A full cap and spots of webby lacing left behind.

Aroma was full-on IPA: light pine and citrus hops. Sweet caramel malt.

Taste pretty much followed the nose. Citrus hops. Grapefruit and orange. Bitter grapefruit rind bite. Spicy, herbal notes. Sweet, earthy malt balanced well against the hops bitterness.

Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Somewhat of a creamy finish. Bitter grapefruit at the end.

I think about the only thing that distinguishes this brew from an IPA is the more robust, earthy malt. It's well-balanced, but the hops bitterness and malt sweetness are a little bit more on the outer reaches of the spectrum on both ends, if that makes sense at all.

Overall, this is a tasty brew and well worth the price of admission. This one went very well with the big-flavored homemade pizza my lovely wife prepared for dinner tonight. I'd recommend this beer paired with pungent cheeses and garlicky dishes. I like it and I'm giving this IRA a respectable BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 crushed cans out of 4.


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