Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Laurelwood Brewing Company - Red Elephant IRA

I direct your attention to the
elephant in the room...
Laurelwood Brewing Company has joined the craft can revolution with aluminum-sided 12 ouncers of their Red Elephant IRA (India Red Ale). I've been keeping an eye out for this brew in stores and finally spotted the six pack in New Seasons on Sunday. I paid $9.99, which is about the going price in the New Seasons cold case. What a swanky grocery store, huh? It's a very short bike ride from my house, but man! I don't think I ever get past their checkout without plunking down at least two Andy Jacksons. Jeesh!

I like craft beer in cans. Some folks say that it makes the beer taste different and they can tell. I call bull pucky on that. Bull pucky! I can't tell the difference. Maybe if I was sipping the stuff right out of the can, sure, but poured into proper glassware? No way.

I'm curious to know why Laurelwood selected Red Elephant as their fledgling can offering. I know I would buy cans of their Workhouse IPA all day, everyday. Maybe it's because most other canned Oregon beers are either IPA's or lagers and they wanted to be a horse--or elephant in this case--of a different color. Beats me. I don't know nothin' about beer marketing, I just drink the stuff.

Red Elephant poured into my pint glass a clear, reddish amber color with an off white head. The head rose up to two fingers thick and dissipated slowly. Clumps of creamy suds and webby lacing remained all over the glass.

Aroma was citrus hops up front. Grapefruit, orange and tangerine. Light tropical fruit in the background. Pineapple. Floral notes.

Taste followed the nose. Big citrus hops flavor. Nice bitter tang. Some spicy, herbal notes. Toasted malt filled in after the initial hops bitterness subsided. A tinge of dankness. Good malt v. hops balance. No alcohol detected.

Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Semi-dry finish that ended things with hops bitterness and earthy malt flavor left behind on the palate. Nice, complex aftertaste.

Overall, this is a dang good IRA. Top notch stuff and I will certainly pick up another six pack for my BBQ cooler this summer. I'm giving Red Elephant a respectable BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 crushed cans out of 4. I recommend.

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