By Iron Chef Leftovers
October bring fresh hop season in the beer world, which is fun since I love the freshies. The problem is that this year has led to a number of disappointing beers – beers that I have liked in the past just haven’t been as good. Maybe my tastes are changing or maybe I am just understanding more about how the beers are composed and seeing the flaws. Either way, NW Peaks gave us 2 fresh hop IPA’s in October. The first of the pair is the Crooked IPA. From the NW Peaks Website:
The name, freshies. We’ve been blessed with a wonderful summer this year and it’s continued into the fall. We hope you have been able to take advantage of the lengthened season! Sooner or later winter will be upon us and we’ll turn our thoughts to snowy adventures and finding all of the finest powder and “freshies” we can. One of the more popular places to go is Snoqualmie pass for the winter playground. Snoqualmie Mountain, the tallest mountain in the area, is a great mountain for non-aided winter recreation. Cave ridge is the standard climbing/snow shoe route up the ridge on the S, while the ‘Crooked’ couloir is a great back country ski down the mountain (note – rapel may be needed depending on conditions)
Crooked, fresh hop, IPA. Crooked IPA was made with amarillo fresh hops, imparting a distinct hop aroma/flavor in the beer. All of the fresh hops were added at the end of the boil (others varieties were used for flavor and bittering) and contribute almost exclusively to the aroma. There is a nice malt backbone and a full bodied IPA.
The beer pours hazy yellow in color – much more cloudy than I was expecting, with lots of hop character on the nose, supported by some grain and hints of pine and citrus. The beer starts off light with notes of grain before moving into bold hop notes – citrus, pine needles, resin and a very mild bitterness, before transitioning off into a pleasant juicy citrus peel finish with a hint of bitterness that seems to keep going in an incredibly long fade. Solid hop character with a nice malty background, really showcasing the hops with a great deal of depth. This beer is exactly everything that I love about fresh hop beers.
NW Peaks Crooked IPA tries to straighten out and fly right with a sneaky 5 juvenile delinquents out of 5.