Anchor IPA

India Pale Ale from one of America’s brewing treasures.  6.5% ABV

Anchor IPA

Anchor Brewing, San Francisco, CA

By Bill Lau

Posted October 3, 2014

Anchor’s story is a key element in the American craft beer revolution, and in my own beer appreciation and development into a beer aficionado. Their Liberty Ale was unlike anything I’d ever tasted when I first tried it back in the late ’80s; it left an indelible mark on my palate. It was the first “dry-hopped” beer I’d ever tasted; so-called because it employed the British tradition of adding hops to secondary fermentation, to extract extra aroma and flavor.

As craft beers (and my palate) have evolved and found a place for ever-hoppier beers, India Pale Ales (IPAs) have become ubiquitous, so I was excited when I learned of Anchor’s new offering, and very intrigued what they would do with their interpretation.

So, first off, the label – classic Anchor vintage style, an elephant with the Anchor logo. Sweet.

 The beer poured a gorgeously clear amber hue capped with a generous pillow of rich, off-white foam. The head slowly settled to a hilly pillow.

Luscious aromas of caramel malt, sweet and toasted, with citrusy and floral hops.

Medium body, lighter on the carbonation, with a smooth texture. Sensation of hop oil covering the palate gradually worked to the back of my tongue.

Flavors started out with grapefruit, tangy sweet and sour caramel malt, then a growing bitterness washed over the palate. Not as in-your-face hoppy as some; more balanced between hops and malt, but with that classic Anchor Steam bittering to drive it home. Mix of grapefruit and toasty malt left behind, with a distinctive resiny, pithy, lingering bitterness. Floral notes showed up late. Pleasing. Very Anchor. The flavors were still on my palate more than a half hour after finishing it!

Rating:     Appearance: 5/5     Aroma: 7.5/10     Palate: 4.5/5     Flavor: 8/10     Overall: 16.7/20

Glass of delicious.

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