Sunday, September 6, 2015

Cascade Lakes Brewing Company - Hopsmack IPA

Let's talk some smack...
Know what I really like about craft beer? Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. You can spend 8 to 10 bucks for a six pack of craft beer and, more often than not, be completely satisfied with your purchase. Yeah, you paid a little more (but not that much more) than you would for a macro brew, but the difference in price is absolutely worth it.

Let's face it, most mega-corps are interested in only one thing: maximizing profits. If they can squeeze an extra penny by lowering standards, using cheaper ingredients or taking shortcuts, you bet your ass that's what they'll do. They answer to their shareholders, not consumers. In fact, you can see just how much contempt Big Beer has for discerning beer consumers from their most recent commercials. Jerks.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of always getting ripped off. My car got recalled. My new laptop arrived without a battery. My vet charged me hundreds of dollars for making my dog's illness worse. Damn! It's nice to get a little bit of value, even if only comes in a brown glass bottle, or a convenient aluminum can.

Today, I'm drinking a Hopsmack IPA from Cascade Lakes Brewing Company. A house guest brought over a six pack of this brew and left one in my fridge. Yes, there's one house guest who will always be welcome at Casa de Wolfgang, AKA The Shotgun Shack. Here's a tip, if you're visiting my house, arriving with a sixer of tasty, local craft beer will earn you the Seat of Honor--yes, the spot on the sofa where Merry the Wonder Beagle usually sleeps.

Hopsmack IPA poured into my glass a clear, orange/amber color with a foamy, white head. The head rose up to a finger thick and dissipated at a moderate rate. A thin cap and light, spotty lacing was left behind.

Aroma was orange, grapefruit and tangerine citrus up front. Tropical fruit in the mix. Loads of mango and pineapple. Sweet, caramel malt. Honey notes.

Taste provided a healthy, bitter hops zing from first sip and throughout the entire drink. Mildly dank pine and indistinct citrus. Spicy, herbal. Pleasant, appropriate, biscuity malt backbone. Easy drinker for me with no significant alcohol taste in this 6.4% ABV brew.

Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. A bit of a dry finish. I was left with bitter citrus hops and mellow malt flavors on my palate at the end. Nice!

Overall, Hopsmack IPA is a very tasty version of the classic PNW IPA. It certainly suits my taste buds just fine. My favorite EDD (Every Day Drink) is an IPA just like this one. Good work, Cascade Lakes!

Merry the Wonder Beagle is whining at me for a taste of it right now. Makes me feel bad for her, since the only taste she'll get is a drop off the end of my little finger. (Beer is not good for dogs. DON'T feed your dog beer.) I'm giving Hopsmack IPA a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4 AND a Droolie.


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