Monday, June 8, 2015

Flower Power IPA (review)

For my second review in a week, and the third time in a row I'm tasting and reviewing an IPA. After two six packs of Sierra Nevada brewed beer I've returned to local favorite Ithaca Beer Co, for their groovy Flower Power IPA.

Flower Power is hopped and dry-hopped five times (Simcoe, Chinook, Citra, Ahtanum, Amarillo, Centennial) during brewing and fermentation resulting in a somewhat complex hop flavor and yet at 75IBU's its not overwhelming.

Aptly named "Flower Power," look for a floral aroma at first whiff, but surprising upfront sweetness once you give it a taste. Beyond the sweetness, the flavor leans heavily toward floral as well, or at least what the beer drinker's brain interprets as the taste of flowers (please don't try munching on your mother's petunias). After that look for citrus - like a ruby red grapefruit or orange peel.

At 7.5% ABV its a little stronger than the Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA i reviewed a few days ago, and while I certainly like Flower Power I would have to rate it below both Hop Hunter and Celebration IPA (which I reviewed in December). Hop Hunter's "distilled hop oil" and Celebration's fresh harvested hops are both fairly unique in the beer world (at least so far as I know it), resulting in beer that tastes distinctly different. Like the most of the IPA pack, Flower Power takes aim at complexity, and as a result comes out tasting rather typical. As far as I'm concerned, the strategy of layering in a big variety of hops added to the brew at different stages is played out until somebody breeds a drastically different variety of hops. Right now the future of the IPA is in fresh hops, hop oils and hop infusing the beer through a hop torpedo.

While I'd certainly buy Flower Power again in a pinch, when facing a cooler filled with Ithaca Beer Co. IPA's I'd probably reach for Ithaca Green Trail first. Nevertheless, try Flower Power for yourself and see what you think.


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