Hop Valley Citrus Mistress IPA

This beer had a cap with a picture of a hop on it. The label has a giant hop on it. The brewery is named Hop Valley Brewing. I expect this IPA (possibly the hoppiest of the hopped beverages) to be teeming with hops. There are times when that will really hurt a beer, but they usually don't get that far. This beer, with it's added grapefruit, might actually be too hipster for its own good and will result in an unpalatable mess. We shall see.

The deep and murky orange amber ale beckons with its stark white head that leaves enough lacing to be dangerous. The lacing looks almost like a first attempt at a doily by someone really, really keen on getting things right. The aroma is mostly the two expected ingredients: hops and citrus. The hops are kind of piney and still a little floral, and the citrus is grapefruit. Beyond that, I would be venturing into lesser aromas that I can't be very certain of. I'll sort those out when I taste it. First, a sip.

The sip brings a whole lot more complexity than I expected. While I thought I would be assaulted with a jackhammer of hops, I am instead greeted with a gentle hop that is carefully balanced with the citrus as kind of a way to cut the bitterness. And cut the bitterness it does - with a grapefruity bitterness of its own, but it still has citrus sweet. As a sipping beer, it certainly has made a good impression.

In the gulp, tip-in is carbonation burn and citrus. Oddly, the citrus that I'm picking up is orange, and I didn't expect that. The middle enters with light hops that seem like just enough to get you in the mood, but not so much to hurt anything. Instead, it's actually kind of smooth with a fruitiness that doesn't seem citrus. The finish brings a hit of bitterness and then grapefruit. Then the bitterness just strolls away - not in a hurry, but like it has decided to leave the party for something else.

Bottom Line: An interesting take on the IPA, and the grapefruit gives it a unique character.

4.0/5

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