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Old 05-30-2012, 03:28 PM   #1
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Default Still not an IPA guy

I recently picked up a "make your own six pack" of beers at Publix. I love this method for trying beers new to me - I get to taste without committing to drinking six of something I might not care for.

One of the bottles I chose was Sierra Nevada's Ruthless Rye. I keep seeing rye mentioned in recipes, that it adds a bit of a spicy character, so I wanted to check this out for myself. I did not, however, pay attention (darned pretty bottle art) and overlooked the fact that this was an IPA.

My favorite beers are malt forward - give me a nice English brown ale any day. I have tried several IPAs, and have yet to find one that I enjoy.

However, I hadn't tried an IPA since February or so. Perhaps, I thought to myself, my pallate has expanded a bit.

Not so much.

I found this beer to be bitter to the point that I could taste little else - and was not a sensation that I enjoyed. I suppose that the issue must be with me - I see that this is a well received beer at BeerAdvocate, and that a lot of the reviewers seem to think that it is well balanced beer that simply lands a bit on the hoppy side. I certainly didn't get that at all.

Ah, well. I'll continue to stretch my horizons. Sadly, this particular six pack has been full of disappointment so far - I didn't care for the Ruthless Rye, I made the horrible mistake of trying Wild Blue (blueberry lager overwhelmed with artificial blueberry syrup flavor), and I found the Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown ale to be slightly beery water.

I did enjoy the Leffe Blonde (but I knew I'd like it... I put two in this pack to help compare my clone brew with)... as for the new stuff, it's all up to Ellie's Brown (Avery Brewing) to save this sixer for me.

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Old 05-30-2012, 03:31 PM   #2
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I like Ruthless Rye, but even my husband (who is really digging IPAs now) doesn't.

One thing that Bob likes is big hops flavor and aroma, but without a harsh or heavy bitterness. So you may find the some IPAs are much more to your liking than others. Many commercial IPAs have over-the-top bittering.

When you're ready to try again, maybe try a Dogfish Head 60 minute or 90 minute IPA. They seem to have more hops flavor and aroma, and less strong bitterness. I can't think of any others at this moment, but there must be more that would be more hop forward and less bitter.

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Old 05-30-2012, 03:36 PM   #3
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Have you tried Bell's Two Hearted? That is a very balanced IPA that I really like. I tend to prefer more balanced IPA's than super hoppy like Stone Ruination. Also, have you tried any Imperial IPA's? The malt and high ABV in imperials seems to balance it out better for my palate. I'm a big fan of Southern Tier Unearthly, Bell's Hopslam and Great Divide Hercules. Those should be pretty easy to find.

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Old 05-30-2012, 03:39 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. The best IPA to my own taste that I have had so far was Heavy Seas Loose Cannon - I could at least enjoy the aroma, though the grapefruit and sheer bitterness pushed it into the realm of beer that I don't particularly enjoy.

I have yet to have a Bell's beer that I haven't enjoyed; I may try the Two Hearted - it's easily available here. I'll keep an eye open for the Dogfish, as well.

Like I said, I will contine to try to expand my horizons. I doubt I'll ever be a hophead, but it would be a shame to shut myself off from a huge category of beers based on a few that I haven't liked.

And hey, my pallate may still grow up one day.

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Old 05-30-2012, 03:41 PM   #5
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You just have to immerse yourself in the hoppy styles. Buy a bomber or two a week for about a month and you'll probably start to understand the fascination/addiction some of us have for hops. Initially, I despised bitter, hop-forward beers... now I either buy or brew them at least 90% of the time.

One thing I learned from my experiences is to start with the sweeter hoppy beers with slightly higher FG, and then later move to the drier styles finishing around 1.010-1.013 FG. Dry, harsh, bitter, low malt presence versions are not commonly appreciated as much by beginner's as the bitter-sweet versions higher in malt character, which can be a little smoother on the palate. Beginner's and Intermediate's will use the word "balance" a lot to describe what they enjoy most in an IPA... when realistically the IPA/DIPA style is truly about a graceful mastering of "un-balance". Aficionado's, on average, tend to enjoy the drier, cleaner, hop-forward, bitter examples.

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Old 05-30-2012, 03:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewdad View Post
I did enjoy the Leffe Blonde (but I knew I'd like it... I put two in this pack to help compare my clone brew with)... as for the new stuff, it's all up to Ellie's Brown (Avery Brewing) to save this sixer for me.
While this may not hold much water with you, since I love Ruthless, and therefore our tastes may not align.... but i recently had Ellie's Brown for the first time, and LOVED it, so hopefully that one will be a winner for you.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:52 PM   #7
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I am a huge IPA lover, and was not a fan of the Ruthless Rye. Perhaps try some kind of IPA collaboration. Deschutes (OR) makes a White IPA or Dogfish head's Aprihop may be an interesting route to try. These IPAs are less bitter and more Floral.

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Old 05-30-2012, 03:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiasIsQueenMary View Post
I am a huge IPA lover, and was not a fan of the Ruthless Rye. Perhaps try some kind of IPA collaboration. Deschutes (OR) makes a White IPA or Dogfish head's Aprihop may be an interesting route to try. These IPAs are less bitter and more Floral.
Aprihop would defiantly be a good beer to try. I went through a 4-pack really quick and wanted more but my Total Wine ran out.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:00 PM   #9
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+1 on the Bell's Two Hearted. It's like the gateway IPA. I had a few of those and ended up brewing a clone of it and loved it. Now 1 out of 3 beers I make is some variation of an IPA. I've become a hophead.

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Old 05-30-2012, 04:01 PM   #10
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Yeah I think Two Hearted is very balanced and while the bitterness is there I feel that the flavor of the Centennial is more apparent and the aroma gives the deception of even more flavor. That one and A Little Sumpin Sumpin by Lagunitas are my favorite IPA's. I do not like the very bitter IPA's either but more the malt forward, balanced IPA's.

And I agree with you, I just don't think you can beat a good English Brown Ale. Just so damn good!!!

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