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Notes from an IPA tasting

Nick Trougakos Published: July 18, 2014

I got together with some very important people last weekend, so I decided to break out a selection of IPAs from my recent summer vacation/road trip beer haul for a mini-IPA tasting session.

Here was the lineup:

-Westbrook IPA

-21st Amendment Back in Black

-Terrapin Hopsecutioner

-Straight to Ale Monkeynaut

-Cigar City Jai Alai

-Uinta Hop Nosh

-Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

So, Hopsecutioner and 60 Minute I had had earlier in life. Both are still good. What was a little funny was noticing how much less bitter I felt like Hopsecutioner was compared to the last time I had it. Choc brewmaster Michael Lalli once warned me about the cumulative effect of IPAs over time — the way your hop sensitivity decreases as you keep ramping up the IBUs. Makes me wonder if the Hopsecutioner was perhaps just a little old, or if my hop threshold has in fact increased to such a point that I think a beer called Hopsecutioner could have used more hops?

Anyway, moving on, I’ll rank the beers from least enjoyable to most awesome.

At the bottom of the chart was Monkeynaut, which is out of Alabama. I found the beer to be overly heavy on the malt profile, and I thought the hops tended to slant more to an English style than a bright, floral, fruity American style.

In the next tier were Jai Alai, Westbrook and Hopsecutioner. All are solid offerings — you’d be just fine if you had a six-pack of any of these.

One notch up was 60 Minute and Back in Black. As a general rule, I’m a sucker for black IPAs, so Back in Black had a good chance to impress me right from the start. I love that smooth, velvety feel of a good black IPA, and this one didn’t disappoint.

Finally, saving the best for last, I put Hop Nosh at the top of the list. It was eminently drinkable, leaning strongly on a citrusy hop profile while still striking a great balance between malt and hop.

Plus, this was my first Utah beer — Utah, who knew?! I was quite impressed and am now trying to talk Mrs. Beagle into going to Salt Lake City.

Pints and Pins

-Mustang Brewing is continuing its five-year anniversary celebration tonight at McNellie’s OKC with two offerings: an oak-aged sour raspberry wheat ale and an aged vanilla imperial porter. The fun starts at 6 p.m.

-Did you know Aug. 2 is Mead Day 2014?

-Dead Armadillo reports more cans of its tasty Amber Ale are on their way to a store near you.

-Smoke on Cherry Street is hosting a pig roast/beer dinner July 29 featuring Marshall, Roughtail, COOP and Prairie. The cost is $50 per person. Call (918) 949-4440 for reservations.