Boston Beer Co.
Latitude 48 IPA
The name of this beer comes from the northern hemispheres 48th parallel, which is called, in the brewniverse, The Hop Belt. Hops seem to thrive here, and Sam Adams has taken samples from Germany, England, and the US.
The pour is energetic, breathing life into nearly an inch of yellowed head. The color is a reddish dun, with amber gold highlights peeking through the impeccable clarity.
The nose features a surprising softness of malt, though hops soon take over as tobacco and mint arrive in the forefront. Some peppery spice also emerges, perhaps from those Nobles.
The mouthfeel is quite good, with the fine effervescence spreading widely across the tongue. Malt makes a brief appearance, only to duck quickly, like a whack-a-mole, as the hop hammer prepares to drop. It is not subtle, and starts out sharp and metallic. Bark and grass emerge, along with tobacco. Slowly, a mint leaf presence hits the back of the swallow accompanied by some sweet cream, hinting that maybe the malt mole might return. However, all that’s left is mild alcohol warmth joined by parsley green hops.
It’s nothing earth-shattering, but the brief cameos by an English hop ball-peen and a German hop mallet save this from being just another Pac NW hop sledgehammer.