Saturday, February 19, 2011

Review - Phillips Hop Box

This is the last of my posts on the new beers Phillips Brewery has recently released. Hand it to Phillips, if there's one thing they understand it's that people don't just want good beer, they want new beer. It certainly worked on me anyways, as this is three posts in a row dedicated to their beer. One of their new releases is the Hop Box, a 12 bottle mixer pack, featuring 4 beers: Hop Circle IPA, Skookum Brown, Krypton Rye PA and Grow Hop Centennial IPA. The last two of these are brand spanking new and I sat down with both of them for a tasting.

Grow Hop Centennial IPA - 6% abv
This beer is part of the Grow Hop series of beers that will each feature a single hop variety, and as the name suggests, this one uses centennial hops. It is a bright gold with the predictable citrus hop aroma of Northwestern hop varieties. It has a nice mouthfeel with a medium body and high level of carbonation. The hoppy flavour and aftertaste of this beer has a certain medicinal quality that reminds me of Driftwood's Sartori, a beer that also uses only centennial hops. Possibly this is something directly connected to the use of the centennial, however I've never noticed this with my own beers. Perhaps somewhat predictably, this beer's hop character seems to lack complexity, but this is likely in the nature of a beer that only uses a single hop variety.

Rating: Good

Krypton Rye PA - 5% abv
As the name suggests, Krypton is an IPA that uses rye in addition to barley malt as part of its recipe. Similar to the Grow Hop it is a golden hue, and has a citrusy hop bouquet, but this is complimented by the aroma of pungently woodsy, earthy hops,  that may come from combining Northwest and European noble hops. It has a nice medium body and enters with the flavour of earthy hops that melts into a moderately bitter finish with the hint of grapefruit. The bitter finish lasts pleasantly for ages but is not overly strong compared to the hop flavour and aroma. This may be an attempt to allow the rye to shine through, as it often lends a dry, crisp finish to a beer, but there is so much hop character that the rye is hardly noticeable. The only way I can think this beer could be improved is to increase the amount of rye, but that being said, this is one hell of a great IPA.

Rating: Very Good

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