IPA’s to Calibrate Sensory Palette

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Kickass

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I don’t drink very much commercial beer these days. Additionally, I feel the IPA space has become convoluted with the sheer amount of fruity hop blasted NEIPA’s. I’d like to “calibrate” my IPA sensory analysis but don’t really know where to start.

I’m looking for widely available commercial examples in California that are:

Citrus forward
Pine/resinous/dank forward
Berry/fruit forward
 
This might not be quite what you’re looking for, or available out west but I really like the Sloop Brewing IPA variety pack. It’s got their traditional Juice Bomb as well as Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe varieties. It won’t cover the dank or berry flavors but I think it’s nice to be able to compare the characters or each of the hop varieties.
 

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lol! I've always enjoyed the original Juice Bomb - the other "Bombs" haven't been available near me - but it's pretty much the epitome of a fruity hop-blasted hazy. In fact it was an influence on the hopping levels on my hazies ("MORE!" 😁)

I might start with Sierra Nevada's Torpedo and actually even their Pale Ale for non-hazy IPA and near-IPA beers in CA.
Also Lagunitas IPA, and Stone IPA are both excellent examples of readily available WCIPAs on the west coast...

Cheers!
 
lol! I've always enjoyed the original Juice Bomb - the other "Bombs" haven't been available near me - but it's pretty much the epitome of a fruity hop-blasted hazy. In fact it was an influence on the hopping levels on my hazies ("MORE!" 😁)

I might start with Sierra Nevada's Torpedo and actually even their Pale Ale for non-hazy IPA and near-IPA beers in CA.
Also Lagunitas IPA, and Stone IPA are both excellent examples of readily available WCIPAs on the west coast...

Cheers!
Yeah, now I realize it’s probably not on point for OP.
 
I might start with Sierra Nevada's Torpedo and actually even their Pale Ale for non-hazy IPA and near-IPA beers in CA.
Definitely Sierra Nevada IPAs (and Pales).
Even their Juicy Little Thing and Hazy Little Thing are good IPA references. But they're nothing like real New England IPAs, they're their own class.
 
Thanks for the responses and WCIPA suggestions, that’s more inline with my personal taste.

I’m not necessarily trying to avoid a NEIPA I’m more so trying to find IPA that tightly aligns with more singular descriptor categories, specifically citrus, fruity or pine/dank.

I’ve been considering pursuing a BJCP certification and thought this would be helpful to associate those flavor characteristics with the words.
 
This might not be quite what you’re looking for, or available out west but I really like the Sloop Brewing IPA variety pack. It’s got their traditional Juice Bomb as well as Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe varieties. It won’t cover the dank or berry flavors but I think it’s nice to be able to compare the characters or each of the hop varieties.

This would be great for single hop associations, I’ll look for it!
 
This would be great for single hop associations, I’ll look for it!
Once you narrowed down what suits your palate (and nose) you may want to test what those hops do in your (homebrewed) IPAs. For that you can make a series of small brews, using only 1 or 2 hops in each.

I've often brewed a 5 gallon batch, with just a small amount of bittering hops (say, to 30-40 IBU). Then split into 3-6 small batches and finished each with a unique hop or combo. You do need a few small fermenters. For example 2 or 3 liter soda bottles work well.
 
I'd consider sierra Nevada torpedo the archetype of traditional American IPA

Hazies...tougher. for me hill farmstead is the OG but their distribution was always limited even when I lived in Boston and I haven't heard much about them in brewing forums the last few years. Seems like treehouse is the new standard but I've never had it
 
Look out for some Bay Area breweries like Ghost Town for dank or hazy, same for Slice, Altamont for dank, Moonraker, Cellarmaker or Wonderous for both.
you're the only one giving good suggestions here haha.

OP: for west coast IPA Russian River is the quintessential version of the style, Pliny leans more dank while blind pig leans more citrus forward. Ghost Town has been winning a lot of medals for WCIPA, Nose Goblin is their "best" one and I'd say that leans more dank. Cellarmaker does more of a hybrid west-east style IPA ("hazy west coast" they call a lot of them) that are all across the spectrum flavor wise but they do dank especially well. For NEIPA North Park is probably the best you can buy at a beer store (they do great WCIPA too), if I was you and wanted to get up to date on NEIPAs across the spectrum order a case from Monkish delivered to your door, they're one of the best NEIPA breweries and again have beers all across the spectrum you've outlined.
 
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