I don’t know how many LIBA readers live in the DC metro area, but today may have had the most ah-maz-ing weather all year – seriously, low 80’s with a light breeze and a few clouds? Perfect weather for a long bike ride and then a hike with my dog…and beers in the backyard afterward.
This week I’m reviewing a brew that I’ve definitely enjoyed at the bar, and was a little surprised it was still up for reviewing – New Belgium’s Ranger India Pale Ale. At my heart, I’m a serious hop-head, and this beer always scratches my itch. I saw a 22-ounce bomber of it at my local beer store, and after checking the beer catalog, knew what I was getting into this evening.
Ranger pours crystal clear, with a two-finger frothy head, and golden color. The aroma is ridiculous – tons of stanky/floral hops. You really know what you’re getting with this beer from the start.
Taste-wise, this is a seriously hoppy beer, but it’s crisp and mellow so the bitterness won’t be too intense for those who moderately like IPAs. On the front, you’ll get crisp floral hops that center on the middle of your tongue. Through the middle, citrus and fruity hops come out to play before ending on an intense dry bitter note. There’s a lot of mouthfeel here, somewhat like an IPA mouthwash (which is an awesome idea, if I do say so myself).
I personally love this beer – it’s one of the two or three IPAs I always look for on tap. I’m not afraid to admit I’ve gotten banged up off the Ranger, which is surprising given the 6.5% ABV. Bottom line, if you like hops, you’ll love this beer. I give it my highest recommendation, and hope it’s available wherever you’re reading this!