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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Figueora Mountain Lizard’s Mouth

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Where – Figueroa Mountain Brewery, Santa Barbara

How – On Tap

After a visit over two years ago to Santa Barbara, we stopped at the Figueroa Mountain Brewery in  Buelton on our way home.  I was impressed by the beers, but when we recently went back down to SB and tried some more of the beers in the new brewery in the “Funk Zone” near the pier, it was a whole new experience.

Not only is the new brewery a great place to hang out, listen to music and soak up the sun, the beers are killer.

My personal favorite was the Lizard’s Mouth Double IPA. Another strong one, with an ABV of 9.2% and 100 IBUs.

The pour is golden with a light, white head.  The aroma is citrusy.  Balanced hop flavor, with some citrus flavors and a slight hint of caramel on the finish.

Overall, an incredibly smooth DIPA.  Unfortunately, when we were in town, the SB brewery was all sold out of bottles of this one, as was the Buelton brewery.  Hopefully it will makes its way up north soon…

93/100

http://www.figmtnbrew.com/our-beers/#lizards-mouth