Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Craft Beer Crosscut 2.23.17: A Flight of Amarillo

Ron Swarner

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If it were socially acceptable to drink beer in the morning, one with Amarillo hops would be the perfect way to start the day — combined with a balanced breakfast (of course). Amarillo provides a super-citrusy aroma verging on oranges, lively grapefruit flavor and a medium-high bitterness, that is sure to wake the taste buds. The hop may seem as though they might be grown in the foothills of the Spanish Pyrennes but in fact come from Washington’s Virgil Gamache Farms. And while most strains can be propagated independently through the purchase of rhizomes, Amarillo is not one that you will be growing in your backyard (unless your backyard is Virgil G. Farms). Wake up to Amarillo hops and our Craft Beer Crosscut 2.23.17: A Flight of Amarillo.

Alpine-Duet-IPA-TacomaAlpine Duet IPA

7% ABV, 45 IBU

Simcoe and Amarillo. Not a buddy-buddy cop movie but rather the only two hops in Alpine Beer Co.’s Duet IPA. On the nose, grassy and straw notes coincide with the pine and tangerine citrus hop blast. On the tongue, we definitely pick up the “old school” nature of the two hops — pine, grapefruit and earthy — as well as tangerine. A touch of honey and toast are also in the mix while the beer presents a pretty good amount of bite for just 45 IBU.

Sierra-Nevada-Tropical-Torpedo-TacomaSierra Nevada Tropical Torpedo

6.7% ABV, 55 IBU

Sierra Nevada fired up its hop torpedo — a device the brewery designed to dry-hop beer through one or more torpedoes slowly for four days, ensuring that all the desired oils are extracted from the whole hops — and added a little hula. The Chico, California brewery took its Torpedo Extra IPA, named for the device, and added a drop of trop with passionfruit and mango aromas and flavor (we taste pine and grapefruit rind too) with a sexy bitter finish, thanks to our friend Amarillo.

Epic-Brewing-Tart--n-Juicy-Sour-IPA-TacomaEpic Brewing Tart ’n Juicy Sour IPA

5% ABV, 60 IBU

While “sour” and “IPA” would normally be an oxymoron — aging versus fresh — Epic Brewing has dialed in the flavor profile on its Tart ’n Juicy Sour IPA. The sour wins, but the initial sour punch gives way to a citrusy, juicy hop profile of Citra and Amarillo that, while second to this beer’s lactic sour flavor, is too big to ignore. The beer is, overall, very medium-bodied, with a long-lasting, pleasantly dry finish.

Shmaltz Hop Manna IPAShmaltz Hop Manna IPA

6.8% ABV, 65 IBU

It’s easy to see why Shmaltz Brewing‘s latest rendition of this boldly hopped IPA took home gold at the 2012 World Beer Championships. Dry-hopped with Centennial, Cascade and Citra hops, following a bittering base of the aforementioned varietals in addition to high alpha Amarillo and Warriors, the finished product highlights dank, spicy, and catty notes that unapologetically besiege us.

Black-Raven-Trickster-IPA-TacomaBlack Raven Trickster IPA

6.9% ABV, 70 IBU

From Redmond, Washington’s Black Raven Brewing comes this well-balanced IPA with a deep chewy malt character obtained from copious amounts of ESB, Munich, and Crystal combined with a blast of Chinook, Magnum, Simcoe, Amarillo and Cascade hops. Basically, Black Raven brewed a craft beer that has an elevated grain bill and an elevated hop bill, executed perfectly so you have an elevated beer.

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