Sunday, April 08, 2007

Review: Lost Coast Indica India Pale Ale

Indica IPA is the second beer I sampled from my West Coast exchange with Jay at Hedonist Beer Jive.

This beer holds a huge personal interest to me. Last summer, my wife attended her cousin's wedding in Eureka, CA. While in town, my wife, her sisters, and my mother-in-law stopped at the Lost Cost brewpub. G had great things to say about the beer and brought me back an Indica t-shirt. She was planning to bring a growler back, but the bartender made her concerned about not being able to keep it cool the whole time.

I love the t-shirt and was disappointed that I didn't get to try the beer. When Jay mentioned sending some Lost Coast samples, I was anxious--the art on the t-shirt was so cool (it mirrors the label)--would the beer be as good?

Brewery: Lost Coast Brewery
Brewery Location: Healdsburg (northern California)
Indica IPA (sorry, the LC website doesn't actually list Indica anymore. Wonder what's up?)
BJCP Style: 14B. American IPA

Appearance: Orangish body with creamy white head; cloudy--not clear

Smell: Big citrus and floral hops, similar to the Racer 5 and the Bell's HopSlam (which I have yet to formally review), except that there is a subtle spicy undercurrent in this brew that I didn't pick up in the other two.

Taste: Starts with a big, sweet citrus burst--all hops upfront! I pick up hints of bourbon and vanilla, and the caramel malts complement the hops. Finishes with a lingering spicy hoppy note.

Mouthfeel: huge and full-bodied, with carbonation that, with the hops, pricks the tongue.

Drinkability: Another great big, delicious West Coast IPA. I was not disappointed, except that now I'll clearly have to take a trip to Eureka, too. I have a hard time deciding whether I prefer this or the Racer 5 better. I like the caramel malts and lingering spiciness in this brew, but I think the opening salvo of the Racer 5 might be slightly more assertive. I paired this with spicy Indian food--Aloo Choley.

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