28 May 2010

New Belgium Ranger India Pale Ale

New Belgium Ranger India Pale Ale (bottle)
Fort Collins, CO
6.5% ABV

We don't get New Belgium in Michigan, which means that nearly every day at work I have to explain the three-tier system to some customer or the other. Gah. I'm one of those who likes New Belgium just fine, but hasn't been overwhelmed by their beers. Will Ranger IPA be any different?

Pours clear orange, transparent, slight effervescence, with a thick foamy white head that sticks around significantly. Smells strongly of high alpha-acid hops, very piney and with some earthiness down deep. Intriguing aroma.

Taste is very hoppy, almost soapy, with a sharp dryness on the backend. Very slight grapefruit character down deep. As the beer warms, the dryness becomes smoother and the hop bite becomes less pronounced, giving a soft soapy quality on the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, thin, with moderate carbonation and heavy hops.

So how do I feel about this beer? It gives a very nice presentation and smells quite good, but it does feel a little one-note. Hopheads will enjoy this a lot, but to me it's a little too much like drinking liquid hop juice. Good, probably exactly the beer they intended to make, but far from great.

My overall BA rating: 3.7/5

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