Monday, May 6, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 107, Yards India Pale Ale

India Pale Ales were an English invention.  It was discovered long ago that hops were a great way to preserve ales over a longer period of time.  Since England had once dominated the world with it's navies and established colonies at the farthest reaches of their sailing vessels, they needed to preserve their ales to reach such places as India.  It is rumored that the aristocracy and high officers drank a really nice and strong version of IPA and the rank of the military and various civilians drank a watered down version.  The Yards version at 7% ABV is most likely closer to that of what the officers drank!
It was only fitting that I pour this beer into a 12 oz. mug with a schooner inscribed on it as this may have been one of the smaller vessels that sailed to India.

The beer poured a clear and light amber colour with a nice full lasting and creamy yellow/ tan head that leaves a beautiful and sticky cracked desert pattern on the glass.  NOICE!

The aroma comes off to me as a mix of citrusy hops and sweet malts with a hint of white bread to it and a very faint floral note.

The tastes comes off from the beginning as well balanced between sweet pale malts and mild citrus/ earthy hops and as it moves towards the back of the tongue some more of the bittering hops come through in an earthy way and then leaving citrusy and floral once again.  The finish is only mildy dry and peppery.  This is an excellently balanced beer!

The mouthfeel is lightly sweet and mildly dry with a moderate body being exactly what I would look for in an IPA.  The carbonation is once again middle of the road and perfectly done.

I'm an IPA rookie having only tasted a total of 12 to 16 different varieties, but this has to be amoungst one of my favorites.  I don't know if I would call it world class as that may be reserved for an imperial IPA like Yards' Cape of Good Hope IPA, but this one is definitely refreshing and not overly hoppy at all.  I find it very drinkable and capable of satisfying a hop connoisseur (hop head) as well.  I'm giving this a strong 4.4 out of 5!  Cheers Yards!

You have to get out there and try good beers!  If you are drinking that swill by the big boys, you are going to eventually find that even you can like an IPA.  I, for the longest time, tried to steer away from IPA's but have been growing to like them more and more.  Even the double IPA's  Life is too short, drink good beer!


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