I’ve decided my first foray into this should be a somewhat over looked beer, in my opinion. Reasonably hard to source in Canada, for certain, slightly rare due to distribution but I’ve managed to pick it up a few times. An American IPA by San Diego’s Green Flash Brewing called West Coast IPA. This is not an introductory IPA for sure this brew is extremely hop forward with little extra profile to disguise the hoppyness.
While I’ve consumed beer that is bitter for the sake of bitter(HUB Brewing, Ace of Spades) I think the malts in this beer really add good character and depth. Probably one of the best IPAs to taste that solid pine flavour. Try giving your beer a good sniff as soon as it is poured. I find, especially with IPAs, you can get a good sense of the initial flavour. When this beer first hits your palate you’ll have no doubt what variety of beer you are tasting. The aftertaste is where the malts really shine and where brewers try to strive to balance the bitterness of IPAs, that said there will be a very bitter residual flavour left on your palate after swallowing if you’re not used to dense IPAs.
At 7.3% ABV this beer has a lot of body backing its taste. I tend to drink heavier beer as a preference, though I know many who prefer lighter beer, not many truly interesting beers come from lower ABV. Not that lower ABV beer can’t be good but for my preferences and through anecdotal evidence the really great flavour is obtained at higher ABV. As a hardcore fan of IPAs in general this is perhaps one of the best you can find. Certainly worthy of the world-class title it is often handed.