And BC beer week just keeps on going. Back to a Tree product (not the last), their highly regarded Hop Head Black IPA. This stuff sold like crazy in Kelowna where it’s made, and was talked about all over BarTowel.com among other places. Black IPA – or Cascadian Dark Ale – is a fairly newly recognized style. In fact, there is no shortage of people who still won’t recognize it. I tend to defer to others on what actually constitutes a “style”, but I would agree that this type of beer needs to be classed as “something”, even if it’s simply a sub-class of another style (IPA, for instance). If you’ve never had one and you like Russian Imperial Stouts and big hoppy IPAs, definitely grab one. Tree Brewing Hop Head Black IPA would be a great start.
From a silk-screened 650ml bomber, Hop Head Black IPA pours a solid opaque black, with just a hint of red at the edge. About 1″ of dense tan head drops to a film that leaves a nice bit of lace on the glass. Aroma is Dark malts: burnt sugar, caramel, coffee and a hint of chocolate. Hops are herbal and a little woody. I’m guessing that they will be a lot more prevalent on the palate, as the main aroma is the malts, with just a hint of tangy yeast too. There are hints of dark fruits as well, a little jammy and sweet. Taste is still very sweet and malty, burnt sugar with a rum-like sweetness accentuated but some boozy heat. Coffee and chocolate are still present, and hops are still herbal, but now add a nice dry bitterness on the finish of the beer. Actually, this is one of those cases where I’m sure the IBUs on this are probably quite high, but the big booze and malts keep it well in check. The beer lingers with some hop dryness with a nearly liqueur-like sweetness on the front of your tongue. A perfect bottle to share with somebody special after dinner with some lovely chocolate, whether you call it a BIPA, Cascadian Dark Ale, American Imperial Stout, or whatever else.
About The Brewery
A company focused on quality, excellence and creating great tasting beer, Tree Brewing Company has been taking craft brewing seriously for 15 years. Located in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia, Tree brews in small batches using only water, malt, hops and yeast to produce the highest quality, all natural, unpasteurized beer. The Tree family of Craft beers include Hop Head India Pale Ale, Thirsty Beaver Amber Ale, Cutthroat West Coast Pale Ale, Kelowna Pilsner, Beach Blonde Lager and Vertical Winter Ale. Special releases also make brief appearances depending on the inspirations of Brewmaster Stefan Buhl. In 2011, Tree Brewing also introduced its first cider to the lineup; Dukes Dry Apple Cider is the only 100% BC-produced Dry Apple Cider available on the market. For more information on Tree Brewing and its award-winning lineup, please visit www.treebeer.com.