SweetWater IPA

SweetWater IPA 6.3% ABVSweetWater IPA
American IPA
SweetWater Brewing Company

Well, I can’t expect every beer from a brewery to be exceptionally good.  That’s not doing SweetWater justice, let me rephrase.  I can’t expect every beer from a brewery to exceedingly delight my particular palate.  So it goes with my third sampling from the SweetWater brewery.

Before I continue, I have to say that the SweetWater IPA is a well made brew, a solid American IPA.  It’s just not one that I would go out of my way to buy.  I have to assume this is merely a case in which the beer and possibly the hops used, just don’t effect my taste buds like they do others.  This beer back in March 2009 was awarded “Best IPA in the Country – Judges Choice AJC.”

So while I don’t personally recommend it, there are others who obviously do.  Maybe I have set the bar too high after experiencing the incredibly delightful SweetWater 420.  Maybe I had hoped for too much after also being impressed by the SweetWater Road Trip.  Whatever the reason, I am not a fan of this SweetWater IPA.

What this beer has done though is made me think more intently about hops.  I started to wonder as I drank through the 12 ounces poured into my tulip glass, “Are some of the hops used not in line with my taste preference?”  I thoroughly enjoyed the aroma of the brew, a nice floral bouquet.  But the flavor left me wanting.  The finish has a good bitter bite, but it is not to my liking.

The hops used in this beer are  “Chinook, Cascade, Columbus finished with Simcoe, US Golding.”  I know that SweetWater uses US Golding in their Road Trip, so I’m going to assume I like that strain of hops.  The SweetWater 420 is brewed with Cascade hops and I am quite fond of that beer.  Is it the Chinook or Columbus hops I’m not fond of tasting?  The Simcoe hops used in the finish?  Is it the “extensive dry-hopping process” utilized?  Am I looking for a needle in a haystack here, or am I on to discovering particular hop varietals that I like and dislike?

It could all come down to my taste buds just not being in tune with what SweetWater wanted to create in this brew.  Maybe the SweetWater IPA is just not my “cup of tea.”  Whatever the case is, I am still a fan of SweetWater and look forward to trying their Take Two Pils soon.

Have any of you had this brew?  If so, what are your thoughts?  Are there any Hop experts out there, that can help me with my quandary?

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