Sunday, January 16, 2011

IPAs – 60 Minute – Racer 5 and Hop Czar

I decided to try a few IPAs over the weekend and made a selection of Dogfish Head – 60 Minute IPA, Bear Republic – Racer 5 and Bridgeport – Hop Czar.  60 Minute is the 2nd beer I have tried from Dogfish Head and I will purchase more from this brewer.  This one of the best balanced IPAs I have tried.  60 Minute has an ABV of 6% and an IBU of 60.  The beer is named because there are 60 hop additions over the 60 minute boil.  Hops are added for bittering (to balance the sweetness of the malt), aroma, and for preservation qualities.  The Dogfish Head website describes 60 Minute as “session India Pale Ale brewed with a slew of great NorthWest hops. A powerful, but balanced East Coast I.P.A. with a lot of citrusy hop character. The session beer for hardcore beer enthusiasts!  This is a perfect description of Dogfish Head’s flagship beer – sessionable – balanced – and very good. 

Next up was Racer 5 from Bear Republic at an ABV of 7% and an IBU of 75+.  You can discern the hop emphasis on Racer 5 over the balance in 60 Minute.  This is a nice one and you can taste the difference between and East Coast vs. West Coast beer of the same style.  The website describes Race 5 as “This hoppy American IPA is a full bodied beer brewed American pale and crystal malts, and heavily hopped with Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial.  This is a nice beer with emphasis on the bitter side. 
Third for the evening was Bridgeport’s Hop Czar with and ABV of 7.5% and an IBU of 85.  While the bitterness units on Hop Czar were higher than Racer 5, Hop Czar did not taste as bitter to me as Racer 5.  This one poured a little cloudy and was not clear like the previous two because it is bottle conditioned.  Hop Czar is describes as “an Imperial IPA brewed from our award winning IPA recipe, first introduced to rave reviews in 2008.  It is a triple-hopped bottle-conditioned, Imperial-style IPA that carries a deep malt background with enthusiastic citrus and floral notes paired with high hop bitterness.  The newest in our permanent 6-pack line, the Hop Czar recipe blends copious amounts of Nugget, Chinook, Cascade and Centennial hops.”  Hop Czar leans on the bitterness emphasis, but not as heavily as Racer 5.  This Imperial IPA with a nice bitter finish. 
It was interesting to try the different varieties of the IPAs from the different areas.  All used NW Hops and 60 Minute had the best balance, Racer 5 the hop emphasis, and Bridgeport had malt sweetness with a bitter finish.   These can take up space in my refrigerator any day.

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