When Doc crowned Founders Centennial IPA the best IPA in America, he invited the rest of us to do a full tasting note on it. As Commander of Aleheads Central Command, I feel the urge — nay, the duty — to take him up on that. While I would not call it the best IPA in America, it’s definitely close, and an outrageously good beer.
NOTES: Bottle @ Herr Direktor’s place
STYLE: American IPA
APPEARANCE: Hazy orange. Looks delicious.
HEAD: Fluffy off-white head that subsides into a layer of chewy foam.
LACING: Lots of lacing. (Let’s all eat ’em up!) More spotty than delicate.
NOSE: is complex and downright awesome. If there’s a scent you are pleased to find in IPAs, chances are you will find it somewhere in Centennial’s nose. It has strong smells of citrus, pine resin, dried fruit, and a surprising amount of malt.
TASTE: Much less complex than the nose, but still somehow tastes like it smells. This beer is as full-flavored an IPA as you are likely to find (arguably not including double, triple and imperial IPAs). The front is hoppy… and tingly. Then comes the malt, and there is a lot of it. The Centennial is very well balanced, particularly in the heart of the sip (or gulp). The hops — and I know they’re primarily Centennial hops, but I swear there are others in there — are strong and bitter. But there is also a powerful sweet, roasted malty flavor. The finish is astringent but clean.
MOUTHFEEL: I can’t call this beer full-bodied — it is only an IPA after all — but it ain’t light. I think it’s the haziness. Regardless, it’s a rich, thick brew for an IPA.
DRINKABILITY: Ummm, given how many I had, I conclude that it’s quite drinkable. It’s definitely not a session beer, however. At 7.2% ABV, you can actually have a few of them without killing yourself. And I think you’ll agree when you try it, you will want another.
RATING: 4 sufganiyot — i.e. fresh homemade jelly doughnuts — take that, Christmas!