My first beer of the Hangar 24 4th Anniversary Celebration was a beer from their Local Fields Series.
ESSENCE is an Imperial IPA with an 8.5% ABV and 75 IBUs.
This beer is the essence of Southern California. A traditional west coast IPA with a distinct copper hue, enhanced by generous additions of navel oranges, sweet blood oranges and grapefruit, all grown in Redlands, CA. The citrus flavors and aromas intensify the zesty cascade and zythos hops to deliver a one-of-a-kind drinking experience. An invigorating beer with a pleasant, defining bitterness, perfect for warm weather.
The beer poured a murky orange color with apricot highlights popping up in all the spots where light hit the glass. A thick foamy head set atop the beer and left behind lots of lacing.
I was thrown for a loop when the first thing I picked up in the smell was malts and sea foam. Imperial IPA normally screams HOPS to me, so I was surprised when I couldn’t really detect any. However, there was a scent of Timothy grass and some orange slice candy to make it smell a little more like an IPA.
I’m glad I didn’t read the description of this beer until after I sampled it, because I would have been let down by the taste. It begins with a little bit of dankness; grass, hemp, and a hoppy bitterness start off each sip and stay for the duration. A faint sugary sweetness is noticeable at the end. None of the fruit flavors one would expect were forward in the flavor.
Mouthfeel is light to medium. It dries at first, but a little hop juice comes out to finish off each sip.
In my honest opinion I wouldn’t really call this beer an Imperial IPA, but it is drinkable with no major flaws. But sadly there’s nothing spectacular to set this apart from the thousands of other IIPAs that are out there.
Overall: 6 out of 10
As an IMPERIAL IPA: 5.5