In honour of National Beer Day, I thought I would highlight one of my favourite beers in recent months, the awesomely named Robohop from Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto. The popularity of the IPA has reached new heights in recent years and as a result, the once dynamically flavoured ale has grown comfortable and stale. The number of craft breweries that forego the IPA as it is an easy sale to the non-discerning, fair-weather hop head. And then there is Robohop. An Imperial IPA, Robohop comes in at a solid 8.5%; but fear not, this is not a hot beer by any standard. There are few beers on the market with an ABV this high that are capable of delivering full flavour without a boozy after-taste.
Robohop pours a beautiful golden hue with a slightly cloudy transparency. Almost immediately, your nose is hit with scents of both citrus and pine – a hopheads dream. The front end is pure citrus as the notes of grapefruit hit your tongue. It is bitter, but with a subtle sweetness. The after-taste is dry with a slight maltiness. Not overly malty. Just the right amount of caramel.
Overall, this is one of the finest India Pale Ales I have had the pleasure to enjoy in quite some time. As IPAs have grown into session beers, something was missing from my own enjoyment of this specific classification of beer. Robohop has proven that there is still life in the IPA medium and I for one am relieved. Spring has come and porters and stouts are going to start taking a back seat to the golden beers of summer. Thankfully, there is still complexity out there.
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