Limbo IPA Long Trail Brewing

Limbo IPA

© 2014 popsonhops

Limbo IPA Long Trail Brewing

Tasting: January 3, 2014
Style: IPA
Beer #: 509

Relatively young brewers like The Alchemist (Heady Topper), Lawson’s Finest Liquids (Double Sunshine) and Hill Farmstead (Abner) are re-establishing Vermont as a nucleus of American craft beer. I say re-establish because first generational craft brewers like Otter Creek, Catamount (defunct) and Long Trail blazed the Vermont beer trail many years ago. It seems that these upstarts are pushing the grandfathers of craft brewers into producing more hip craft beer. Otter Creek hit a home run with Double Dose (94 points) – their collaboration with Lawson’s Finest Liquids. With Limbo IPA, Long Trail looks to ante up onto the big IPA table.

Initially what strikes me about Limbo IPA, is its sleek packaging design – glossy, mostly black, crimson accents and a die-cut embellishment. The name is intriguing as well and the brewery offers the explanation on their website. They recall a customer’s request not to be left in “limbo” and to throw them a “bone” with a big IPA. The brewery had some fun with the request and ran with the concept complete with femur bone tap handles. I’m not big on symbolism, but the label art depicts an old tree (Long Trail Brewing) and a person long expired and turned to bones possibly waiting for the old tree to produce fruit.

The vitals on Limbo IPA fall right into the IPA sweet spot – 80 IBU (assertive bitterness) and 7.6% alcohol by volume (medium malt base). I’ve learned that Limbo IPA is brewed with New Zealand hops and should present itself with citrus/fruit flavors. Pours a rich orange with about a half-inch of white head that lingers on for a minute or so. Has a sharp citrus aroma and it follows through on the first few sips with a wallop of tangerine and orange zest. Mid-palate I get a bit of black pepper, lemongrass followed by a wisp of caramelized sugar before the onslaught of a strong puckering bitterness. To me, it comes up a little unbalanced as I like a bit more sweetness. I put it at 89 points.

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