On deck today is an impressive lineup of IPA’s from our friends at Starr Hill Brewery. The base beer is one many of us are familiar with, King of Hop IPA. This limited edition 12 pack also adds in a few friends; Lemon-Lime, Grapefruit and Habanero. Each of which changes the game in a fun and surprising way. Let’s check ’em out.
King of Hop IPA: First things first, let’s touch on the base beer for this adventure, King of Hop IPA. This is an imperial IPA at 7.5%ABV with a golden to light orange hue, pours clear with a nice head (and yes, I waited too long to shoot the photo). On the nose this beer already has a lot of tropical fruits, citrus and maybe even a touch of stone fruit. The flavor is strong with a pronounced hop presence; sweet, citrus, resin. The beer also lingers nicely on the palate as it fills the mouth and sticks around for a bit.
Lemon-Lime: The first thing I thought when I smelled this beer was, margarita! Lime zest makes this beer come to life and live up to it’s name. Lemon also fights for your attention but the lime takes center stage on the aroma front. On the tongue things change a bit and both lemon and lime share the stage. There is certainly no false advertising here. The scents seem so fresh it makes me think there was some zesting involved and if so, cheers to the individuals who drew the short straw on that! This may very well be my favorite in the set.
Grapefruit: This beer does not disappoint, grapefruit is the scent of choice here. Orange could also be in the aroma but they smell very similar to me. On the palate, the grapefruit continues and while the beer is tart, it is not cloying. This beer also lingers on the palate but it’s not so much bitter as it is sweet.
Habanero: Of the three the aroma on this one may be the most muted. Some of the same scents from the King of Hop IPA are there, just a little more muted. There’s something else though – I’m not sure how to describe it other than it reminds me of chopping up a bell pepper. On the palate there is a pleasant pop from the habanero peppers that warms the back of the throat all the way down into the chest. The sensation lingers….and lingers. Certainly not unpleasant at all and while pepper beers really aren’t my preference, I find myself enjoying this one.
Final snobs: This is a really fun set of beer. The pack of 12 gives you 3 of each of these fine beers. Each lives up to their name and delivers a unique experience. This would be a really fun experience with a few friends – line them up and try them all together, see what you each pick up on. Alternatively, forget about those people and keep these 12 to yourself. I won’t tell.