Saturday, July 11, 2015

Raging Bitch Belgian Style IPA

My merciless exploration of all things hoppy continues with Raging Bitch Belgian Style IPA brewed by Flying Dog Brewery of Fredrick Maryland USA. This is my first review of a beer from Flying Dog, as well as my first review of a beer using the "Belgian Style IPA" moniker.

What exactly constitutes a "Belgian Style IPA?" I'm not really sure. Better look that one up. Literally... I'm doing it right now....

According to Beer Advocate: "Inspired by the American India Pale Ale (IPA) and Double IPA, more and more Belgian brewers are brewing hoppy pale colored ales for the US market (like Chouffe & Urthel), and there's been an increase of Belgian IPAs being brewed by American brewers. Generally, Belgian IPAs are considered too hoppy by Belgian beer drinkers. 

Various malts are used, but the beers of the style are finished with Belgian yeast strains (bottle-conditioned) and the hops employed tend to be American. You'll generally find a cleaner bitterness vs. American styles, and a pronounced dry edge (very Belgian), often akin to an IPA crossed with a Belgian Tripel. Alcohol by volume is on the high side. Many examples are quite cloudy, and feature tight lacing, excellent retention, and fantastic billowy heads that mesmerize (thanks, in part, to the hops). 

Belgian IPA is still very much a style in development."

So there you have it folks. Based on my still limited experience, if I had to make a comparison to other IPA's I've reviewed, I'd say that this particular "Belgian Style IPA" has the most in common with a West Coast IPA. Its dry, its hoppy (60IBU) and not particularly "malty," which is fine by me (although many other reviewers seem to disagree)

8.3%ABV, dark amber/orange hued. Creamy body. Very citrus (orange peel) flavor with hints of floral and pine.The best IPA I've had recently, after a couple of underwhelming taste tests. I'd buy it again.

Musical Pairing: 20 Minutes / 40 Years by Isis

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