I mentioned last week that my visit to Bog Iron Brewery included an extended tasting and the purchase of a couple growlers. I reviewed their One Down Porter as part of my first post, this second will focus on my other purchase, Stinger IPA. The IPA style is so popular it is almost a requirement for a new brewery to make at least one IPA. It is also important to make a quality version of the style, fair or not, many customers will base their initial impressions of the brewery on the quality of their hop-forward beers. Bog Iron makes three IPAs, their single IPA Stinger, a big double IPA called Stung, and one in between appropriately named Middle Child. I tried all three during my tasting and enjoyed the clear difference in flavor profile that went beyond the changes in ABV. If I had to pick, I think Middle Child would be my favorite, unfortunately the keg was kicked and I couldn’t get a full growler. So I decided on to bring home a bottle of Stinger. Stinger IPA gets it’s name from the substantial amount of locally sourced honey that is added to the mash. The addition of honey adds alcohol, a small amount of flavor and gives the beer a dry finish, resulting in an IPA that showcases the hop flavors. Bog Iron Stinger is hopped continuously during the boil and then dry hopped multiple times with Cascade, Columbus, Magnum and Summit varieties.
Bog Iron Stinger IPA pours a clear red-tinted yellow with a minimal white head. The smell is a big burst of hoppy goodness, floral, citrus and tropical fruit scents. The goal of showcasing the hop flavors in this beer is also well realized, with notes of grapefruit, orange, papaya, passion fruit, pine and grass. The bitterness is present but not overkill, it’s there without killing your palate. There is some malt to add some balance, touches of whole grain bread and biscuits. The honey adds some subtle flavor, but this beer is clearly brewed to showcase the hops. Stinger is pretty substantial for a “single” IPA at 7.4% ABV, but the beer is very easy to drink and you get none of the booze in the flavor. The finish is clean with just a bit of bite on the tongue. I really liked this beer! If you are a fan of the hop-forward brews this is one to add to your “must-try” list. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
Previous Bog Iron Reviews: