Print Story the fermented beverage review beer of the season: harpoon "long thaw" white IPA
By the mariner (Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:20:46 PM EST) fermented beverage review, IPAs, IPA (all tags)
i've been only dimly aware of this style until now, but still in my IPA kick, i picked up a harpoon "IPA Adventure" variety pack even though i'm not that keen on harpoon's flagship UFO or IPA offerings.

the results within.

first, what the hell is a white IPA? a white IPA is a cross between a belgian witbier (the best known commercial example of which being hoegaarden or blue moon for an american macro version). these are similar to hefeweizens in that they're brewed with wheat and not a lot of hops, giving a nice light, sometimes even crisp, beer with lots of fruity esters going on. they differ from hefeweizens in that they're spiced with coriander and citrus peel among other things to give a more rounded flavor profile.

what with current trends in north american brewing, the thing to do with this style is to change the "not a lot of hops" part to "a lot of hops," hence the "white IPA."

on to the review:

harpoon "long thaw" white IPA -- pours a crystal clear wheat-gold, like a krystallweizen. lots of head formation, loose, white, nice lacing, really sticks to the glass (perhaps the result of extra hop oils). subtle tropical fruit aroma, with spice, citrus, and a whiff of hops bitterness.

complex flavor profile -- pineapple and banana, coriander, citrus, with a bracing bitterness. alcohol is well concealed, very well balanced. really crisp, almost like a kolsch in texture.

if you're looking for an IPA that you can drink more than one of (or get down without revealing that you'd rather have a wine cooler), this is your brew.

-- if you get the "IPA Adventure Pack," you will also be treated to a mediocre english style IPA, an okay black IPA (or cascadian dark ale), and a pretty good rye IPA (i've never had a bad rye IPA, but i suppose they must be out there).

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the fermented beverage review beer of the season: harpoon "long thaw" white IPA | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
May have to go try it by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #1 Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 01:22:09 PM EST
since I'd rather have another fucking merlot than drink an IPA..

it's good for the price too. by the mariner (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:34:59 PM EST
normal priced craft brew in 12 oz. bottles. most white/"belgian-style" IPAs come in bombers or 750ml's, but 6 of these runs about seven or eight bucks. not bad, imo.

[ Parent ]
I tried one last week by riceowlguy (2.00 / 0) #3 Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 02:09:55 PM EST
It was pretty decent.  I didn't really notice the hops while I was drinking it (I drink lots of double/imperial IPAs so maybe my hop-o-meter needs recalibrating).  I noticed the hops later when I burped.

It is too bad that New Belgium Mothership Wit has been discontinued - that was a really good beer in the witbier space that, knowing NB, probably had some hoppiness, although of course it doesn't have IPA in the name, which seems to be important given the use case you cited ("if you're looking for an IPA that you can drink more than one of..."), although that was maybe a bit tongue-in-cheek.  To me, "sessionable IPA" is an oxymoron.  If you want something medium hoppy and medium-low ABV, you want an APA.

yeah, my hopometer has been much desensitized by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 05:54:11 PM EST
by this IPA kick. e.g. i used to think harpoon IPA was unpleasantly hoppy, almost to the point of undrinkability. now i'm struck instead by how caramel-y it is.

agreed re: DIPA, not sessionable. there's a lot of variance in hoppiness of IPAs on the market these days. the less hoppy ones are sessionable to a raging drunk like myself, but i could see room for difference of opinion on that.

but yeah, this long thaw stuff is nice in the way it balances the hops against the alcohol and fruitiness. well-rounded and balanced, doesn't feel like you're drinking something really hoppy, but it really is hoppier than even the hoppier APAs.

[ Parent ]
i can also report that sierra nevada's wit IPA by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 08:31:47 PM EST
is as awesome or more awesome than the harpoon one.

[ Parent ]
I generally feel like by riceowlguy (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:47:48 AM EST
Sierra Nevada has some of the best stuff out there, but for whatever reason I tend to overlook them.  Maybe, I hate to say, they need better marketing, or better graphic design?  I mean, their basic Pale Ale is a great beer to just have around in the fridge when you want to relax, Torpedo is a great beer to have around in the fridge for when you want to get a little messed up, and Celebration is a great winter beer.

And now that I've gone to their website to remind myself of their other stuff, Hoptimum is a great kick in the face, Narwhal is a good stout, and I liked their Northern Hemisphere fresh hop thing.

I like that some of their stuff is available in cans.  I am trying to only buy beer, if it's in sizes less than 22 oz., in cans.  Less weight and volume to have to haul to the recycling center.

[ Parent ]
i wonder about them myself. by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:16:22 PM EST
they seem to have great distribution -- they're available everyone, usually in a number of varieties and their stuff is usually solid (i was turned off of their non-pale ale offerings for a long time because i hate their barleywine, but anyway). at some point, these craft brewers need to start getting serious about advertising.

[ Parent ]
Well by riceowlguy (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:58:11 AM EST
"Getting serious about advertising" could mean a lot of different things.  I would guess that a big part of the craft brewing ethos is that any money spent on advertising/marketing is taking away from money spent on the product, and that they don't want to get into a big advertising arms race the way the macro breweries have.

Graphic design is pretty important, though.  Like most art, it's not a language I understand, but I know what I like looking at and what I don't.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, their labels bug me. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #8 Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 08:48:45 PM EST
I think it's the typefaces. I guess I could try a draft, but I can't look at the bottles. Weird colours too.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
you shouldn't drink out of bottles anyway. by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 04:48:18 PM EST

[ Parent ]
IPAs by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:25:53 AM EST
> if you're looking for an IPA that you can drink more than one of

that's almost all IPAs, for me. :)
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

the fermented beverage review beer of the season: harpoon "long thaw" white IPA | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback