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Thursday
Oct232014

NEW BELGIUM RANGER IPA

New Belgium Ranger IPA. I came across this by chance in a craft beer bottlo. The label, with what appears to be a Canadian Mountie’s hat filled with hops, caught my attention.

I had a closer look at the label and discovered the brewery is actually located in Colorado. An American IPA hopped with Simcoe, Cascade and Chinook and a typical 70 IBU. I noticed it was a bit less boozing than your typical American IPA, 6.5% ABV instead of the usual 7%+ ABV.

I find the American IPAs which are under 7% ABV are less syrupy, bittersweet and boozy tasting. So an American brewed IPA with some of my favourite hops and not too boozy sounded like a winner.

As I opened the bottle the hop aromas burst from the bottle. Pours a golden yellow colour, white head with lots of delicious hop oil bubbles. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Nice floral, citrus and pine aroma.

From the initial sip it packs a big hop flavour. Strong citrus and floral flavours followed by a decent dose of piney goodness. The malt takes a backseat allowing the hop flavours to shine.

Clean mouthfeel with a little bit of resin, moderately dry finish and a lingering bitterness. As it warms up it becomes a little more resinous, less bitter but the hop flavours still dominate over the malt flavours. There are no bittersweet or warm alcohol flavours like some other American IPAs.

This beer has what I love in an American IPA that is often so hard to find. Strong, delicious hop flavours without sweet boozy or malt flavours, particularly crystal malt, which often smother the hop flavours.

Check it out if you like American IPAs which are big on flavour, without being heavy or sickly, such as EPIC Armageddon or Coronado Brewing Idiot IPA. At AU$12 for a 650ml bottle it’s also ridiculously good value for a beer of this calibre.

 

9/10

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