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Peter LaFrance

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A taste of… Left Hand 400 Pound Monkey

Left Hand Brewing Co.
1265 Boston Avenue
Longmont, Colorado, USA 80501
(303) 772-0258

Preface: This 12 oz. bottle of 400 Pound Monkey was sent to me by the folks at Left Hand Brewing Co. for inclusion in these tasting notes.

The following notes are made after a mouth wash with room temperature sparkling water. These notes have not been influenced by reading promotional material or any other review of this brew.

I am including this preface to inform the reader of any and all circumstances that might be conceived of as creating a biased review or a conflict of interest regarding the choice of words used in the following review. I could go on and on with semi-legal jargon but I guess you will just have to trust me eh?

The following are my tasting notes:

Appearance: This crystal clear honey colored brew is topped by a foamy head of small bubbles that form a fairly dense tan head of sparkling bubbles.

Aroma: First impression is of sweetness. A second impression adds to the sweetness with a burnt sugar presence. The third nose-dive reveals a citric orange hint.

Flavor: The first impression, after the refreshing chill, is of a citric tang that is fighting with the previously mentioned burnt-candy aroma, now a flavor. The second sip reveals a tart tang that takes no prisoners… rips those tasters up by the roots so to speak. The third sip lets the flavor receptors get up off the floor or roof and begin to appreciate all the efforts of the hopper.

Mouth feel: Has a fuller finish than start.

Finish: What little sweetness exists in this brew is left to sweep up after the hop onslaught.
Comments: I will have to go to the references to re-learn the technical definition of an India Pale Ale. I don’t think this is one of them. It is one very good highly hopped pale ale but it is no India Pale Ale.

Just as American Amber Ale is known for the grapefruit citric tang of the native Cascade hops, an India Pale Ale has a traditional hop bite that is particular to the origins of the ale and is necessary to make it what it is.

Just as I have difficulty with the peculiar flavor of North American Wheat brews I can appreciate this as a good beverage to savor with a black-and-blue hunk of entrecote.

The Brewery: http://www.lefthandbrewing.com/

What others say:

BeerAdvocate: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/418/44706

RateBeer: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/left-hand-400-pound-monkey/91991/

1 comment:

mistahcal said...

One thing you forgot to read on the bottle is that it is described as an "ENGLISH" style IPA, and every other English style IPA i've ever had has the mellower hop bite you describe. I say the style tastes like our pale ales over here across the pond. I think as an English style IPA it is one of the best...but it just doesnt measure up to American IPA's. I noticed Bass is now called a "pale ale" on the bottle and in the same tone does not measure up to American pale ales.