At the end of last week I issued a challenge to my readers, stop taking beer so seriously, take a break from the message boards and rating sites, and just have some fun trying some good beers this weekend (full column HERE). There were four potential challenges listed, I accomplished two of them myself. One was challenge #4, I home-brewed a hoppy amber ale that I am really looking forward to tasting (once it ferments, secondary ferments, gets bottled and carbonates…damn home-brewing takes some patience). I also finished challenge #1, I actually tried a couple of beers that I had no background knowledge of. When I go on a stock up run for the blog I usually have a list of beers that I am looking for, based on recommendations or announcements from the breweries. That list is usually only ~2/3 of what I buy, I like to window shop and buy a few things that just look or sound interesting. The beer that I am reviewing for the challenge is Hop Harvest from Ipswich Brewery. Hop Harvest is Ipswich’s fall seasonal, replacing their Harvest Ale. Hop Harvest is a dry hopped American IPA brewed with a healthy dose of Ella hops, a new world hop that adds citrus and tropical fruit flavors and aromas. Ipswich Hop Harvest is available on draft and in 12 oz. bottles this fall.
Ipswich Hop Harvest pours a clear deep amber with a solid off-white head. The scent is dominated by a big whiff of citrusy hops. The hops also lead the flavor, notes of grapefruit, mango, lemon and passion fruit along with a soft but persistent bitterness. This is balanced by a full malt body, touches of whole grain bread and caramel. Many breweries are moving towards IPAs that are all hop flavor, it is nice to see a little balance here, especially for a fall beer. The beer is medium bodied and easy to drink, and packs a little punch at 7% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor. Ipswich Hop Harvest is the kind of beer I like to drink as the weather cools down in the fall, plenty of flavor but has some weight to it, holds up to the cooler weather and robust fall foods. This was a good find for my random selection, and one of the reasons that I’ll continue to try beers without any previous research. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Ipswich Reviews: