Available: AR, MO
An amazing reddish-blond head tops a noble body, the color of a shiny penny. The sweet smell is inviting, fresh and satisfying. In the mouth, hearty hops predominate. The malt flavor is there, but it is slightly over shadowed by the bitterness in the hops. It would be good with hot, spicy foods like pulled pork sandwiches, veggie quesadilla with chipotle dipping sauce and even a very dark chocolate as they help balance the overt herbal character.
A sheer copper-colored brew, with an off-white head that swathes the surface and hugs the glass. Vaguely reminiscent of the venerable Ballantine Ale in the aroma, with a blend of hops that confuses my nose. Is it an American or English IPA? I pick up Goldings and Cascade, along with a hint of raspberry ester. The carbonation makes for a light and dryish palate. The flavor is clean, with a nimble caramel suggestion, and a subtle juniper-cedar character within the forceful hop combo. It finishes appetizingly snappy, as an IPA should. My belly has awakened and is craving some spicy grilled shrimp and scallops.
Maybe we should expect an IPA called “presidential” to be a bit political, trying to offer something to everybody. This one begins with a liberal dose of Northwest American hops producing a citrusy, somewhat piney aroma. The flavor turns more conservative, nodding toward British tradition, exhibiting notes of caramel and biscuit. Underlying bitterness at the finish, but again with British sensibility. I’d prefer a beer more focused, but this approach surely earns votes in Arkansas.