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Entries in Grand Teton Brewing Company - Trout Hop Black IPA (2)

Thursday
Dec232010

Grand Teton Brewing Company- Trout Hop Black IPA: Catch And Release

Here’s another 750ml bottle taking up space in my fridge and has got to go.  This one is another gift brew, this time it’s from my bro and fellow TGBOAT staff member, Rafi.  This is my first brew from Grand Teton Brewing Company as well as my first official American-Style India Black Ale or more commonly referred to as Black IPA.  It amazes me that there has been such debate over the naming of the style and its origins.  I have to agree that it is a contradictory term to say “BLACK India PALE Ale”, as there is nothing black about pale.  I have to agree with the regional originality as I really think that term should be Cascadian Black Ale but no one really cares about my two cents.  So here it is, Grand Teton’s Trout Hop Black IPA is poured and ready.

Grand Teton Brewing Company classifies this brew as an American-Style India Black Ale and their website describes Trout Hop Black IPA as, “Trout Hop Black IPA is a spicy and bold American-Style India Black Ale, with notes of fresh pine needles and spruce tips. Brewed with Idaho 2-Row Brewers’ Malt and German specialty malts, this ale has a deep rich color and roasted finish but does not have the thick and rich body that often accompanies malty brews. Kettle hopped and dry hopped with Pacific Northwest hops, the resulting bitterness is bold and pronounced, the aroma piney and zesty. The full body and dry finish create a refreshing autumn ale, perfect for any crisp afternoon or cool evening.”  Trout Hop Black IPA is a part of Grand Teton’s 2010 Cellar Reserve Releases series and is worth noting that this is a bottle conditioned beer.  In addition, the tag affixed to the neck of the bottle has a date of July 29th 2010.

Trout Hop Black IPA pours a pitch black color with a 2” light brown head.  The aroma is a mixture of citrus hops, roasted malts and a very earthy smell that I can’t quite place.

I have to admit it and say that I am highly confused.  It’s as if this beer is searching for an identity, it can’t decide whether it wants to be an IPA or a roasty dark ale.  My taste buds are freaking out!  What I can’t tell is whether this is a good beer or not, maybe it’s just me but I’m not feeling it.  Trout Hop Black IPA may be good but in my opinion, it’s not my cup of tea.  There are some flavors that I like in this beer but not in combination with each other.  This just may be another one of those beer styles that I don’t really get but that’s not to say that you won’t.  For me, it’s a catch and release beer at best.

ABV: 8.5%

Consumed: New Belgium Globe Glass

Verdict: Buy A Six Pack

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Thursday
Nov042010

Grand Teton Brewing Company - Trout Hop Black IPA: Would a rose by any other name...

Just the other day while at work, Ken McMullen, head brewer at Limestone Brewing Company, showed me a bottle he bought of Trout Hop by Grand Teton Brewing Company.  This afternoon I was perusing the Discount Liquors by my house and stumbled upon that very beer on their shelves, so I decided to give it a try.

On the label Trout Hop is considered a Black India Pale Ale, but there is a lot of debate over the naming of this style of Beer.  The Brewers Association has set guidelines for the 2010 GABF Awards in which they have specified the category as India Black Ale: American-Style.  The style originated in the Cascadian region of the Pacific Northwest and there they would like to call the style Cascadian Dark Ale.  What is the correct name?  Can the beer be black and pale at the same time?  Can the beer be considered American-Style when many of the first examples where brewed in British Columbia, Canada?  If Cascadian Dark is the correct term than what about this beer which was brewed in Victor, Idaho?  Whatever it is called it is a new style with which I am eager to get acquainted.

I poured this beer into my glass of choice and noticed a dark cola-like color with an impressive frothy cream colored head and there is light to medium carbonation.  The aroma is roasty with just a hint of citrus and pine.  The prominent flavors are toast, coffee, and grapefruit and it has a medium body.

I definitely enjoyed drinking this beer but I have tried a few from the style category and this one is good, but just isn’t my absolute favorite.  Do with that what you will. If you see it definitely give it a try, just know that there a better examples.

If I had to choose an appropriate name I would most likely call it an India Black Ale leaving off the American-Style from the naming.  If other countries want to brew it they can add their country of origin as a qualifier, but it is not necessary for the original. On the other hand there is a reason why IPAs have India in their name, but this style does not share that history.  What would you call it?

ABV: 8.5%

Consumed: Mother Earth Globe Glass

Verdict: Buy a Twelve-Pack

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