By Iron Chef Leftovers
Another beer that I really was excited to find on my last NJ excursion was the Flying Fish Brewing Exit 16 Wild Rice Double IPA. I read a review of it a couple of years ago and had really wanted to try it since it was different – an IPA brewed by a craft brewery, with rice as one of the ingredients – not something that you see every day. The added plus is that the beer is actually named Exit 16 – playing off the joke that folks from NJ are familiar with – when you meet someone from NJ for the first time, you ask them what exit rather than what town. I had this beer in a 12 oz. bottle.
From the Flying Fish website:
Although usually identified with landfills and pipelines, the Hackensack Meadowlands is an amazingly diverse ecosystem providing vital animal and plant habitat. In a nod to a once common food plant here, we’ve brewed this beer with wild rice. We also added organic brown and white rice, as well as pils and pale malts.
Rice helps the beer ferment dry to better showcase the five different hops we added. Lots and lots of them. We then dry-hopped this Double IPA with even more–generous additions of Chinook and Citra hops to create a nose that hints at tangerine, mango, papaya and pine. This beer pairs extremely well with spicy foods and all kinds of seafood. And of course, it’s quite enjoyable all by itself.
Malt: MFB pilsner malt
Other: Wild Rice, Brown rice
Hops: Citra, Columbus, Centennial, Simcoe, and Chinook
Original Gravity: 6.6 Plato
Alcohol by volume: 8%
Formats: 12 oz. bottles, 1/2 kegs, 1/6 kegs
Availability: Year round
The beer pours light golden in color with a creamy white head. There are moderate notes of citrus and hos with backing notes of grain, yeast and rice – it vaguely smelled like a domestic American lager. The beer starts out mild on the palate with a very light sweetness and a touch of grain and rice before slowly delving into a deeper IPA profile. First a mild bitterness appears, then it is coupled with a dry mouth feel before finishing with a pleasant medium citrus note with hints of floral orange blossom – I was expecting a slightly bigger hop profile from the beer considering it is a double IPA. There is a very mild touch of alcohol at the back end of the throat after a short finish; nothing terrible or off-putting, but definitely noticeable. The beer is layered and fun with some interesting characteristics that you don’t find usually in a craft beer, but I was expecting something with a bigger IPA profile, and got something that was approachable and restrained. It was enjoyable and worth seeking out just for the novelty of the ingredients.
Flying Fish Exit 16 turns on its blinker and heads to the ramp with 3 New Jersey Turnpikes out of 5.