|Orange ya glad ya drank it?|
Here's a prime example of why I love living in this most awesome beer city, Portland, Oregon...
I picked up a bomber of Ninkasi Brewing Company's seasonal Hop Cooler Citrus IPA at the grocery store the other day. As the clerk was checking through my items, she asked me how I liked the Hop Cooler. I told her that it was new to me. She then proceeded to tell me that she had conducted her own side-by-side taste test between Hop Cooler and Hop Valley Brewing's Citrus Mistress.
"How did they stack up?" I inquired.
"Well, I would have to say that the Citrus Mistress is definitely more juicy than the Hop Cooler. Both are solid beers, but the Mistress delivers more on the citrus hops flavors for sure."
We then engaged in a chat comparing the two Eugene-based brewers and their regular offerings while she finished checking out my groceries.
See what I'm talking about? People in this burg know their beers. I could randomly pluck folks off the street and 50% of them would do a better job with this beer blog than me. This is a craft beer town. THE craft beer town. So, what did I think of Hop Cooler? Let's do the rundown.
The beer poured from bomber into my pint glass a slightly hazy, golden orange color with an off-white head. The head rose up to a finger thick and exhibited good retention. A full, thin cap of foam was left behind throughout the entire drink.
Aroma was --as expected-- citrus hops up front. Orange. A little grapefruit. A hint of pine. Caramel malt and some floral notes detected with my nose stuck right down there on the rim of the glass.
Taste followed the nose. Primarily citrus hops as advertised. Not a big blast of citrus, though. I wouldn't say this beer is any more of a citrus bomb than many other IPA's that don't openly proclaim their citrusiness < whoa, is that even a word? I scare myself sometimes with the nonsensical verbiage. Orange, lemon, grapefruit. Some tropical fruit. Some leafy, herbal notes.
Medium mouthfeel. Good carbonation. Nice malt/hops balance with remnants of both left on the palate at the end.
Overall, this is a nice, well-balanced, citrusy IPA. No off-putting, fruity adjunct flavors detected. Also, no prominent alcohol detected in this 7.2% ABV beer. I like it and would definitely drink it again. I'm giving Hop Cooler a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 crushed cans out of 4 and a rare Droolie. The Wonder Beagle was begging of this one hardcore and almost got my glass when my back was turned.