This was something of a surprise pickup for me. I went into the store with a plan to focus on more seasonally themed brews, but then I overheard two customers talking about a red IPA they saw on the shelves. Have I mentioned that this is my favorite style?
Beer Name: Ember
Brewery: Foundation Brewing Company (Portland, ME)
Style: Red IPA
Description: A red IPA said to blend big, sticky hop flavors with tropical fruit. You can get more of the details here on the website. Canned on 10/09/2017.
Appearance: Light brownish/red body with almost a finger’s worth of light tan head.
Smell: Sticky sweet tropical fruits mixed with piney bitterness.
Taste: Aggressive, raw pine sap bitterness right from the start that was quickly joined by a tropical fruit sweetness. These flavors lingered on into the finish where they were joined by light, crackery malt base and a slightly floral hop presence.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a slightly more than moderate amount of carbonation.
Hype: Generally elevated. The brewery has a pretty solid reputation in these parts and it’s a fairly recent development for their cans to see distribution.
Overall: Good, but not quite what I expected from red IPA. The bitterness level was a bit elevated for my preference, especially since it was dialed up way higher than the sweetness. I did like the introduction of tropical fruits to the mix though, and this gets bonus points for the Emberer Palpatine pun on the bottom of the can. I think hopheads and people less picky about red IPAs would really enjoy this; I just happen to have very particular expectations for the style.