New Year’s beer number two cut through the Mexican instantly. I could smell the hops right after I opened the bottle. The label describes it as “resinous,” and that is an accurate description. It also asks slyly whether this might be a Red IPA, a rhetorical question no doubt.
I can’t remember the last true red ale I’ve had. Actually, the only one I can remember is Harpoon’s seasonal that I believe they release around St. Patty’s Day. I drank five of those in one sitting. The Hop Head, however, is not that kind of beer. It’s much closer to the West Coast IPA. I’d need another bottle or two to be able to tell the difference clearly, but from what I could tell, there’s some of that intense caramel maltiness from Caramel 60 or 80 malt. It hit at the same time as the hoppiness on the back end of the spectrum.
Only other strange thing to note is that it had a lot more yeast than the Nut Brown. (I always pour the full bottle – yeasties are good for you.) I need to do a side to side to side comparison to be sure, but I think I prefer the West Coast IPA. That will have to wait until after I try some of Green Flash’s other beers. Very cool brewery.