New Belgium Slow Ride Session IPA

New Belgium is a middle of the road brewery. A friend brought a couple of these to me and told me that I had to try them. Now, he doesn't actually drink, and he came with beer from a middling company who can't design a label for the life of them (although this label is not nearly as bad as some of the others). He swears that he knows people who drink beer, and they say it is the greatest. I certainly hope they are right about this.

The clear yellow beer has a very fluffy, sticky head that leaves a white sheen afloat. The aroma is a kind of stale hops and citrus. Okay, the hops may not be stale. I take a few more whiffs, and the hops are just really, really floral. I assume there is malt under there somewhere, but I can't actually smell it. Hopefully it will be enough to calm the hops down a bit.

First sip is WAY better than it smelled. It isn't nearly as harsh as the smell would have lead me to believe. It is arguably smooth. It really has to be the orange that is cutting the bitterness, because I really can't taste any malt that would normally perform that function. I'm going to toss this back like it was intended to be tossed.

Carbonation burn dominates the tip-in. Flavor cannot make its way past the burn. As the middle comes, Those hops scrape the top of the mouth and the back of the throat wile giving a bit of pine added to the floral taste. The finish brings a wave of bitterness with floral accents. They continue in waves, as bitterness rests on the lips, waiting for the next draught. I don't know what the malt is doing in all of this other than working behind the scenes, cutting the bitterness through most of the beer. And that's just fine.

Bottom Line: Yes, the best New Belgium beer. And it's better than the average beer.



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