Today is International #IPADay, “a grassroots movement to unite the voices of craft beer enthusiasts, bloggers, and brewers worldwide through social media,” wrote Beer Wench Ashley Routson, co-founder of the movement. A grassroots beer movement? We’re totally on board!
We decided to acknowledge the day by trying Samuel Adams’ Latitude 48 deconstructed IPA limited release variety pack. We hadn’t yet sampled a single hop variety series and thought this would be a good place to start. Here are our tasting notes, beginning with Latitude 48 IPA and continuing on to the five IPAs brewed with each individual hop variety in Latitude 48, comparing each of their flavors:
Latitude 48 IPA: Floral and grassy in the nose. Fresh. Smooth in the front and bitter in the back. A little bit of pine.
East Kent Goldings: Lemon in the nose. Earthy, evergreen. Smoother on the tongue. Less bitter.
Hallertau Mittelfreuh: Lemon in the nose. Not as fragrant. Bitter, grassy, not piney or sticky. Subtle.
Zeus: Woody, very bitter on the end. Tangy, but not in a good way. Unbalanced.
Ahtanum: Orange in the nose. Pine. Less bitter. Soft, subtle, smooth. Floral, grassy.
Simcoe: A subtle bitterness. Lemon. The least intense of them all.
Our favorite: Latitude 48 IPA. It was full, balanced, complete. But of the separate hop varietal beers, it’s a tie between East Kent and Ahtanum for their smooth, less bitter flavors.
What did we learn? We learned that hops are blended for a reason. But it was a fun journey for the palate.
(Full disclosure: we did this yesterday. Cheating? Maybe. But don’t worry, we’ll be drinking IPAs today too. Oh, yes we will.)