Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Tuesday Night Tasting - Redhook Ale Brewery: Long Hammer IPA
Redhook Ale Brewery - Portsmouth, NH
Long Hammer India Pale Ale (IPA)
6.5% ABV, 44 IBU, 12 oz
This is probably my favorite offering by Redhook Ale Brewery, although they have a really good line up of brews. I started drinking this IPA a few years back, but I found it interesting that Redhook has been brewing this beer since 1984.
The Long Hammer IPA pours a wonderful golden pale liquid, which is nicely carbonated. It features a foamy pale white head that fades very quickly. The aroma has nice citrus notes, with a great essence of hops. It is complemented by a nice pale and German malt background.
Long Hammer IPA has a clean, crisp, and nicely bitter flavor without being too strong. According to the Redhook website, this IPA is dry hopped with Cascade hops, which helps with the aroma, but doesn't overpower the beer. The beer has a noticeably different flavor based on its temperature, so the layers of flavor will shine provided it's not too cold. The brew has a soft and subtle aftertaste, but is rather dry.
The body of the beer consists of a nice balance of malts, but is not quite as bold as say Wachusett or Ipswich IPAs. However, this doesn't mean that Long Hammer isn't a good brew! In fact, it's one fine IPA - it is really enjoyable. In fact, this helps make it EXTREMELY drinkable. It's not too filling, and has a great balance of flavors, which helps this beer stand out!
I should note that this is beer is in my top 5 of New England IPAs. If you haven't had it, you've probably at least seen it around. Long Hammer IPA is available in six packs, twelve packs, and mix packs. I would recommend picking up the mix pack, which changes throughout the year, but usually features Long Hammer and ESB as the staples. The Long Hammer IPA is also found on tap at the TD Garden, which is a pleasant alternative to Bud Light and Coors Light which can be found almost everywhere in that building.