Magic Hat hI.P.A.

I’ve never really been a big fan of the beers out of Magic Hat Brewery in Burlington, Vermont.  Their #9 is a seminal brew carried by just about any bar, pub or restaurant that you can find on the East Coast.  It’s an apricot-tinged pale ale.  OK…nothing great.  But some folks absolutely adore it.  Circus Boy is a decent hefeweizen.  Again, nothing spectacular.  Jinx, Rocky Rolles, Fat Angel, Lucky Kat…all decent.  Just nothing that I would faun over.

However, I really do love their hI.P.A. after trying it for the first time this past weekend.

hipa

As the cutesy name suggest, hI.P.A. is a seasonal Spring IPA from Magic Hat.  The “hI” is also short for “highly hopped” as the hops on this one come on strong early and often.  Very floral nose full of fruit becomes a medium-bodied rich looking brew in the glass.  What was nice about this IPA, as compared with some of the other hi-hopped brews out there, is that it wasn’t overly bitter in any way.  The bitter was there at the end, but it was balanced very nicely.

Oh and the ABV is 6.80%, so it isn’t too strong.  Not that you can’t handle strong beers.  I’m just sayin’.  Definitely one of my favorite IPAs on the market right now.  Check it out.

My Rating: 9 out of 10

Lagunitas Sirius

sirius

I know.  It’s been a while.  But I’ve been going through a whiskey phase and I haven’t been tasting very many new beers.  It’s something that I mean to remedy, and I started last night.  Purchased a couple of new six packs for an Oscar viewing party.  OK…it was more like Gia and I drinking a few beers and having snacks while I live-blogged the Oscars.  Anywho.

Sirius is a Spring Release Ale from Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma California.  A Cream Ale with an ABV of 7.60%, so it is on the strong side when it comes to drinkability.

It poured an almost bright orange color (ok…copper) with a distinctive pine hops aroma.  I was actually confused by that because I wasn’t sure what the distinction of a “cream ale” was going to be.  Malt or hops?

Turned out to be a delicious combination of both.  A smooth mouth feel with a bitter hop taste (not too strong) on the finish.  It definitely had a creamy flavor as it sat on the tongue.  That sounds a bit disgusting, doesn’t it?

I had it with some stuffed cherry peppers (prosciutto and provolone) and horseradish hummus.  Sounds good, right?  So I would suggest pairing it with those items, and only because I am too lazy to figure out what else it would taste good with.  Or you know what?  Just drink it on it’s own.  It’s damn fine either way.

My Rating: 8 out of 10