I’ll let you in on a little secret: I already know how good this beer is before I pop the can for this review. I’ve had it before and I can’t wait to get some of this brew in my mouth. It’s tough, but I wait and contemplate the colors. In the dim evening light of my living room, the beer shows as a tinted gold, if you will. The head is thin and white with various sized bubbles. The smell profile is awash with evergreen forest. When I really stick my nose deep in the glass, the citrus notes of an orange creep up. It’s a clean and even smell that hints of the delicious adventure ahead.
Alphadelic comes in a futuristic silver 12-ounce can. It has Hop Valley’s hop bud logo in lush green featured prominently on the front, surrounded by silver webbing. Maybe I’m getting carried away here, but the font, the design, and really the whole can feels inviting. It sort of says, “Going somewhere fun? Take me with you!”
Out of the can, the taste is tight and sweet at first, before evening out in a blanket of hop comfort. There is just the right balance of light malt base topped with soaring layers of hop flavor that seem to swoop down from above. I sense a subtle, delectable combination of orange blossom and pinecone. Pour it in a glass and the flavor is slightly different. The sweetness seems to dissipate, then wraps around to the middle of my tongue with a touch of molasses. Next, pine needles prickle the tongue. It feels at once refreshing and the tiniest bit warm, offering a hoppiness that doesn’t bite, but rather caresses the taste buds in a blanket of aromatic bliss.
Overall, the first sip of this beer captivates me. It has the threat of intense bitterness, you can feel it coming on, but it stops just short and delivers smooth, even hop character without overpowering the palate. As I drink, each subsequent sip improves upon the last, so much so that I find myself re-exclaiming, “what a great beer!” even halfway through the can.
A friend and I consume a six-pack without a thought and go searching for more. The store is already sold out. If you can find some Alphadelic, stockpile it and go looking for more, this is one delicious IPA.
Brewery: Hop Valley Brewing Company
Style: India Pale Ale
Availability: Year round