Green Flash – Hop Head Red

Tasting: May 20, 2011
Style: IPA

Back when I was brewing my own beer, there was a home brewer’s club that met regularly at the Loop Lounge in Passaic. They were known as the Hop Heads. Picking up this beer off the shelf made me flash back to my own home brew career . It was short-lived. My wife hated the lingering malt smell that permeated the house and everything in it for weeks. So, being of simple mind, my solution was to buy a camping stove and decided to make a batch in the basement of our apartment. Like a lot of my rash decisions — it was a bad call. My wort was easily infected by whatever airborne organisms haunted a nearly 100 year old basement. These days, I’ll make a mead or liquor from some of the fruit that grows on my property — but still would like to take another shot at a carboy of beer. So, I’ll toast the Hop Heads wherever they are these days.

A couple of things off the label – ABV is 6.4% and it indicates that it’s dry-hopped with Amarillo hops. Amarillo is a bitter hop, standing side by side with the legendary “C” hops (Columbus, Centennial and Cascade). They use Alpha Acid (AA) as a indicator of how bitter the hop. Amarillo is around 10% AA compared to Hallertau of about 2%.

On to the beer. The pour is a rich reddish brown with a thick head. I get roasted malt, oak and orange rind. This one is pretty well balanced, roasted malt and pine/orange rind hops are of equal strength and the bitterness lingers on without being obnoxious. Not a bad beer — but to me not as nice as Green Flash’s West Coast IPA, but still worthy of 86 points.

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