It is interesting seeing the city of Somerville become a craft beer destination. My first “real” apartment (after a brief summer sublet) in metro Boston was outside of Davis Square, I have a lot of good memories from the three years in my early 20’s when I was a resident of that area. None of them involved local breweries, Aeronaut and Winter Hill were years away from opening and the owners of Slumbrew were home-brewers making beer out of their garage (a friend of mine was their neighbor, and one of the first people to try the beers that would become Slumbrew staples). Now all three companies have strong followings and popular taprooms. I am the least familiar with beers from Winter Hill, something I am looking to remedy, but I have heard very good things from a number of fellow beer geeks. Winter Hill was in the news recently after their Office themed trivia night was so popular they needed to sell tickets (for charity), and their Twitter account is a must-follow. It also looks like some of Winter Hill’s beers are now out for distribution, which will be a huge help for me since my travel to taprooms is very limited right now. I was able to spot some of Darlin’s IPA, one of Winter Hill’s flagship brands, at a local bottle shop. Darlin’s IPA is available year round on draft and in 16 oz cans.
Winter Hill Darlin’s IPA pours slightly hazy light orange with a massive white head. The scent is solidly hoppy, fruity and floral. The flavor is also hop-forward, notes of tangerine, guava, pine and lemon along with just a touch of bitterness. This is balanced by a mild malt backbone, touches of cereal and bread crust. Darlin’s IPA is light and very easy drinking, not too boozy at 6.5% ABV. The finish is crisp and clean with some lingering hop flavor. This is a really interesting IPA, you could probably fool some into thinking it’s a hoppy lager because it’s so clean on the palate, and there is enough hop flavor and aroma to satisfy the most ardent hop heads. I look forward to trying more Winter Hill beers in the future! Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.