Firestone Union Jack IPA

Where – Paso Robles Brewery and more recently at home

How – On Draft and more recently in bottle

ABV – 7.5%

IBUs – 70

Firestone Union Jack IPA calls itself an “aggressively hopped West Coast-style IPA.”  It certainly is a West Coast-style IPA, but is not one of the bigger hop bombs out there.

It pours a nice golden color, with average white head.

IMG_4416

Fairly aromatic, with citrus and tropical notes, and a hint of maltyness.

Flavor is well balanced.  The hops are there, but not overwhelming.  Very smooth, and not much bitterness.  Tropical notes and grapefruit carry through from the nose.

Overall, I consider Union Jack a great mid-week beer.  Nice and smooth, easy to drink, not overpowering.  Does not taste like a 7.5%er, hence I do not feel bad having one or two on a Tuesday evening.  Always a solid option.

92/100

On another note, drinking at the Paso Robles Brewery is great.  The patio allows dogs which is always a welcome sight (see below).  The interior is just as great, with TVs for sports, a packed bar, and a cool chic barnhouse feel.  There is also a small gift shop with some quality items.  All in all, a must stop when driving through Paso, and borderline reason enough to spend the night.

IMG_3485

http://www.firestonebeer.com/beers/products/union-jack

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Figueroa Mountain Hurricane Deck DIPA

Where – Home and Santa Barbara Brewery

How – On Tap and in 22 oz.

ABV- 8.00%

IBUs – 82

Hurricane Deck pours an amber/caramely color, with a strong, foamy head.

IMG_4170

Nose has light citrus and pine hops, but not overly hoppy.

Bitterness up front.  The Figueroa website hits it right on the head when it says the taste is “woodsy, herbal and pine-like hop flavor.”  However, it is not as hoppy as I was expecting (and hoping?).

Of all the IPAs from Figueroa Mountain I have had, this is my least favorite.  I do not dislike it, I just enjoy the Hoppy Poppy, and especially the Lizard’s Mouth, more.

86/100

http://www.figmtnbrew.com/our-beers/#hurricane-deck-double-ipa

Golden Road Brewing – Wolf Among Weeds, Heal the Bay IPA

I recently bought some cans of Golden Road Brewing’s Wolf Among Weeds and Heal the Bay IPA.  They were both fairly expensive for a four pack of 16 oz. cans, so I had high expectations.

Wolf Among Weeds

Where – Home

How – 16 Oz. Can, poured into glass

ABV – 8.0%

IBUs – 80

Wolf Among Weeds pours a slightly cloudy and very golden blonde.  Decent head.

wolf

Nose is very tropical and fragrant.  Pineapple/tropical fruit present right away.  Some citrus and earthiness as well.

Taste is similarly fruity, with good hop balance and piney-ness.  The taste is fairly unique and unlike the typical West Coast IPA, although the hoppyness is still there.

Overall, it was very enjoyable.  Biggest issue, quite frankly, was the price.

87/100

http://www.goldenroad.la/wolf-among-weeds-ipa/

Heal the Bay IPA

Where – Home

How – 16 Oz. Can

ABV – 6.8%

IBUs – 65

I only got a single can of this one, and drank it on the roof straight from the can,so my review will be limited for now.

heal

I had this immediately after I drank a Wolf, and immediately determined I preferred the Wolf.

Piney nose, hops seemed restrained.  Good mouthfeel, slightly creamy, with some citrus in the finish.

There was nothing bad about it, but there was also nothing memorable.

78/100

http://www.goldenroad.la/heal-the-bay

Russian River Blind Pig IPA

Where – Public House SF

How – On Draft

ABV – 6.1%

IBUs – 70

I am in the minority.  I am not obsessed with Pliny the Elder like most.  It is good, but I am going to reserve my review on it until I have it on draft again.  I have only had it in bottles the last year or two, so I am going to give it a “fresh” look and see if my opinion changes.

That being said, I love Blind Pig.

Pours a nice copper color with medium carbonation.  The head quickly recedes.

pig

Good hop aroma, citrus and pines throughout.

The first thought tasting it is…smoooooth.  I have been drinking a great deal of IIPAs, so this one almost hits like a session beer.  Very well balanced and medium body.  Minimal carbonation.  Smooth mouthfeel.

Overall, this is about a perfect warm day IPA for me.

95/100