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Beer #52: February 21, 2010: Ithaca Flower Power IPA

February 21, 2010

Beer: Flower Power IPA

Brewery: Ithaca Beer Company, Ithaca, New York

Style: IPA (India Pale Ale)

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle

Price: $10.99 / 6-pack

Availability: Year-round

Glassware: Glass mug

Strength: 7.5 % ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: While a balanced IPA when it comes to sweetness vs bitterness, the hop aroma is huge, and the hop flavor very prominent, making this a great approachable take on hops.

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy, deep golden honey hue, with a huge frothy slightly off-white head with visible tiny bubbles rising to the surface.  Serious lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Honeysuckle, spicy, peppery, pine and citrus.  The aroma is so potent that I can distinctly smell this beer as I pour it, way before I ever get my nose into the glass.  Honestly, one of the best smelling beers I’ve tried this year… and aroma is a big part of what you taste.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thick and sticky, with a moderate carbonation of tiny bubbles, leading to a slightly creamy, smooth mouthfeel.

Taste: This beer starts with an initial subtle, flowery honeysuckle sweetness melding with a cereal-like grainy backbone.  A citrusy orange flavor develops, transforming into a middle of tart grapefruit, tangy lemon peel, and spicy grains of paradise.  The finish has a lingering tart, refreshingly acidic and somewhat drying bitterness.

Pairing: A perfect Springtime picnic beer… paired with some sharp cheddar or pepper jack, a loaf of crusty bread, and peppery fried chicken.

Trivia: “Flower Power” is quite an appropriate name for this brew, not only from the floral notes in the flavor and aroma, but in the fact that hops are indeed a flower… the cone-shaped flower of the Humulus plant… and a potent and powerful little flower they are.  They provide the “alpha acids” that both preserve beer and provide bitterness.

The humulus plant is also a close relative of the cannabis family, taking the whole psychedelic “Flower Power” name and label design to a whole other level of meaning.


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