Monday, February 2, 2009

TBG Drinks: Hop-15 Ale

Brewed By: Port Brewing Company
Brewed In: San Marcos, California
Type: Double IPA
ABV: 10.0%

What They Say: " [T]here are 15 different hop varieties that are added to the beer every 15 minutes. Over the years, Hop 15 has racked up numerous accolades. It has won two silver medals at the Great American Beer Festival. It also was named Alpha King in 2004 and received a first place award at the Bistro Double IPA beer festival in Hayward, CA. Hop 15 remains won [sic] of the stickiest most resinous beers we have ever tasted and for that, we are thankful it is on tap at our brewery each and every day."

Website: Port Brewing's site is as uncomplicated as can be. A single column of text scrolls top-to-bottom in the center of the screen with the left and right sides of the screen left essentially empty. There are a few hundred words on the company's origins on the main page along with links to some of Port's beers (not every link works, though) and management team. Port's pretty popular here in San Diego County, so it's surprising that their merchandise link leads nowhere.

Why I Picked It: The Mysterious Mr. S turned me on to Port's annual beer-fest a few years ago. There, I sampled several of their brews and made meticulous mental notes on the ones I especially liked. That was in 2006 and the only thing I remember about that evening is the commemorative pint glass that came with my admission. But, I think Hop-15 was served that night.


Presentation (5): For obvious reasons, I'm biased towards the green and gold in the logo. And, the old-timey bomber planes dropping hops from above is a terrific bit of imagery on the bottle. 5

Originality (5): Nothing too unique here, people. Hop-15 is wee bit lighter than your everyday double IPA. Port Brewing does boast a distinctive Southern California flavor, though, so I'll give it a couple of points on geographic goodness, alone. 2

Body (10): It pours cloudy and amber with a decent lil' head and minimal carbonation. The overhyped "stickiness" down the glass is apparent, but not that heavy. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't as syrupy as some other double IPAs I've ingested. 8

Taste (10): Definitely hoppy, but not overwhelmingly so. There's a lingering bitterness in every sip, which gives way to a tag team of light citrus and pine notes. I haven't had many IPAs, but this one was sweeter than I expected. I'm still developing a taste for these elitist beers, but I'm pretty sure there were trace tastes of honey and caramel in there, too. 7

Efficiency (10): With Jalen's fifth birthday coming up, this bit of hyperbole couldn't be timelier: Mrs. Bootleg didn't nurse our son for as long as I nursed this beer. 1

Versatility (10): In accordance with That Beer Snob Guy's own definition, "versatile" isn't exactly an operative adjective. I sipped this over the course of the Super Bowl's second half (after scarfing down a three-piece spicy white meat meal from Popeye's(!)) and the deliberate pacing it takes to enjoy a double IPA negates the possibility of enjoying this in all but the most laid back settings. 1

Grade: 24 (out of 50) – OK beer

The above format has been lifted with permission from That Beer Snob Guy.

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