Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Rebel IPA (review)

Desperate to build cred with craft beer geeks, Samuel Adams has offered up what they call " the first West Coast style IPA from the same brewers that started the craft beer revolution in 1984" While Sam Adams is certainly leaps and bounds superior to the big three (Coors, Anheuser-Bush and Miller), a little bit of research shows that their claims of having started the American craft beer movement are unequivocally false. That said, kudos to Sam Adams for bridging the gap between micro and macro. If their beers can help the masses leave their light lager comfort zone for more flavorful waters, I'm certainly not going to complain about it.

But enough politics. Is it any good? Rebel IPA is intended as a West Coast style IPA and as such certainly meets my minimum criteria for the style. At 45IBU's its on the lower end of the bitterness scale (40 international bittering Units being the typical lower threshold for IPA's), but as there is very little in the way of malty sweetness (another trademark of West Coast IPA's) the Hops are not exactly in competition for the attention of your taste buds.

The aroma is dominated by bitter citrus (orange peel) with a flavor to match, but otherwise not much of interest going on. Color, golden / slightly orange.

Having picked up a six pack of Rebel IPA really makes me appreciate the quality of some of the other IPA's I've reviewed recently. If your choice is between one of the big three brewers and Sam Adams Rebel IPA - choose the Sam Adams. But if you have the opportunity to taste a smaller craft brewer - leave the Sam Adams right where you found it.

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