Monday, May 10, 2010

Trickster IPA from Black Raven

At the bottom of the Black Raven tap handle it says, “Ales of great distinction and character”. A statement of that sort is like bringing your own pool cue to a bar; you better have the game to back it up. After an opening year filled with awards at Seattle’s Winter Beer Fest, multiple medals at The World Beer Cup in Chicago, and winning Beverage Place Pub’s IPA battle with the Trickster IPA- unseating reigning four year champion Boundary Bay. I’d say that’s backing it up.
The Trickster India Pale Ale is everything a Northwest IPA should be. A strong pine and fir tree hop flavor-like a Washington forest-with just the right amount of grapefruit bitterness, the Trickster is definitely hoppy, but doesn’t try to stuff a Yakima hop farm into every keg. The Trickster has a deep amber hue, and a nice carbonation level. Enough fizz to leave a solid lace down the glass, not so bubbly as to obscure the texture. I love a big double IPA as much as the next hophead, but most of the time I want a beer with some body and bitterness that doesn’t lay me out if I want to have a few. At 6.8% ABV the Trickster delivers on this front as well. Congratulations Black Raven, you’ve had a helluva first year, and I doubt that this will be your only beer that makes my list.

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