I have not had great experiences with fresh hop (or as they are sometimes called “wet hop”… a term which I find confusing, as it is nothing like dry hop) IPA. I have found them to have weird flavors like banana, broccoli, and overly bitter. Well, I rolled by Bine & Vine and picked up a bottle of Port Brewing High Tide Fresh Hop IPA. This was reasonably priced, at $5.49 for a 22oz bottle. It clocks in right on par with west coast IPAs at 6.5%ABV. Here’s some of my findings on this beer from Port Brewing.
Appearance: Pours a hazy deep gold, with a nice fluffy head that dissipates quickly to a thin layer, that laces the glass all the way down. I poured it into a tulip glass. The tulip glass, by the way, I found at Goodwill as a set of 4 that were made in West Germany (Berlin Wall era) for just $6! I am really proud of this find. This is a very nice looking beer. The lack of clarity was probably due to using fresh hops.
Smell: Black pepper spice is the first impression, followed by fresh cut grass, peach and citrus. The smell was decent, but I have had many IPAs with bigger aromas.
Taste: Big citrus rind up front, followed by nutty, peppery and earthy hop notes. On the back end it leaves you with a lingering bitterness. The taste definitely improved as the beer warmed up.
Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, slick but not thin on the tongue. About what you would expect from a west coast IPA.
Overall: This beer was very enjoyable. I thought it tasted excellent, but I has a bit of trouble picking out individual flavors. The aroma and taste seemed to benefit from the fresh hops by adding the fresh cut grass, and citrus rind notes. At $5.45 for a bomber, I recommend you track down a bottle of Port Brewing High Tide Fresh Hop IPA before they are gone.
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