Saturday, May 15, 2010

319. New Belgium Ranger IPA

More from New Belgium, the brewery that loves to brew. While we haven’t had anything from New Belgium for a while, this is still our seventh beer from those fellows following their folly. Previous beers include Le Fleur, Misseur?, Transatlantique Kriek, Biere de Mars, Fat Tire, 1554 Enlightened Black Ale and La Folie. Ah, the tasty, tasty memories...

Ranger IPA pours a crystal clear copper with a creamy white head. Aromas start with soft spicy and floral hops with not much in the way of malt aromatics. Flavor-wise, Ranger opens with light sweetness before the hops take over; the front has spicy resin flavors, the middle has a fair amount of hop bitterness along with an emergence of floral hops, which carry into the finish. There is a return of the spicy hoppiness along with a good amount of lingering bitterness at the end. Ranger is light bodied and has a bit of a soft mouthfeel; the carbonation is medium, although a bit sharp at the end—it may mix with the astringency of the hops to build some of the punch in the beer. The balance of the beer is certainly towards the hops, giving Ranger a range of hop complexity across the flavor profile. A pleasant and drinkable offering from New Belgium; we just wish they’d hurry up and get their ass to distributing in Ohio.

From the bottle: “Are you a hopinista? Thank our Beer Rangers for inspiring (and begging for) this well-balanced Simcoe, Cascade and Chinook hopped IPA. 70 IBUs.”

From the New Belgium website: “Ever met a New Belgium Beer Ranger? They are our beloved folks out in the field. Spanning all 26 of our states from the Pacific to the Atlantic, our Beer Rangers do their best to protect, to pour and to partake. And explore many a beer from many a brewery, they do. The fellows up in the Northwest kept calling for ‘more hops!’ Soon it became a common theme across the land. Rangers, fans and craft lovers everywhere were searching for hoppier beers. So, here it finally is – New Belgium’s foray into the true American India Pale Ales. Bring out the hops! This clear amber beauty bursts at the starting gate with an abundance of hops: Cascade (citrus), Chinook (floral/citrus), and Simcoe (fruity) lead off the beer, with Cascade added again for an intense dry hop flavor. Brewed with pale and dark caramel malts that harmonize the hop flavor from start to finish, Ranger is a sessionable splendor for all you hopinistas. Thank your Beer Ranger!”

ABV: 6.5%
IBU: 70

And yes, I realize that the label says that the beer is 7.0% ABV while I list it as 6.5%. Chiggity-check the website, party clown.


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