THE I.P.A. From Santa Cruz Ale Works looked great in the bottle. But it was kind of downhill from there. There was some sediment in the bottom of the bottle I picked up from the San Rafael, Calif., BevMo. What that usually tells me is that I’m about to pour a thick, cloudy, unfiltered drink – just the look I like in an IPA. I was right about one thing.
Appearance (15%) – The beer came into the glass and was a nice, cloudy orange color which leaned more toward the yellow side. The head on top was thick and foamy – kind of like what’s on a wheat beer. (93% of 15 = 13.95)
Aroma (20%) – It smelled sweet and citrus, but the scent was faint. There were also hints of flora and malt. (84% of 20 = 16.8)
Flavor (50%) – Not the flavor rush one should expect from a West Coast IPA. There was the expected citrus/sweet flavor, but it was lacking in the hops load typical for this style of beer. The finish is a bit too acidic. At no time was there a rush of any serious flavor. (77% of 50 = 38.5)
Bite (10%) – The alcohol was well balanced, and the beer felt nice and thick in the mouth. It went down smoothly and wasn’t overpowering. The head from the beginning of the pour stuck around quite nicely. Beer was not over-filling. (85% of 10 = 8.5)
Bumper (5%) – Given the countless other options around, this one doesn’t make the cut. (0% of 5 = 0)
Final Verdict (77.75) – C+ … You’re going to that friend’s house who “doesn’t really drink,” and this is probably what’s in his fridge as “the good stuff” he bought for you.
To see The Man F.A.Q. Beer Review Guide, click here.