I have to admit, when Drake’s sent me a six pack of its Hop Vice White IPA I was expecting a bit of a hop bomb in my mouth (I mean, it has hop in the title, that’s a fair guess, right?). Turns out, the white IPA is anything but, in the best way possible.
White IPAs are supposed to straddle the line between American IPAs and Belgian Wits — supposed to. More often than not, the white IPAs I find tend to be super hoppy, to a point that it’s hard to see much of a difference between them and a traditional IPA when it comes to flavor. That’s not the case with Hop Vice, which nails the style perfectly.
On the nose you get bright melon. Drake’s used eight different types of hops in this one — Amarillo, Hallertau Blanc, Idaho #7, Jarrylo (Dry Hop); Pacific Jade, Cascade, Kobatu (Whirlpool); Chinook (Kettle) — but the hop flavor, while there, isn’t overpowering. Instead, you’re left with a dank, pleasantly hoppy brew that isn’t the least bit bitter.
It’s a wonderful representation of the white IPA style, with hints of Belgian yeast and coriander helping round it into a beautifully balanced beer. This is the kind of beer you want in your bag at the park, or out with friends. It tastes light enough that you could definitely drink it like a session beer, but at 6.2%, if you’re going to drink a bunch of these do so cautiously. That said, it’s one I’d definitely recommend giving a try if you’re out and about and see it on draft or in six-pack form.
Brewery: Drake’s Brewing Company
City: San Leandro, CA
Style: White IPA
Availability: 12oz bottle