Okay, so a double IPA might not qualify as a typical holiday beer, but we’re featuring it anyway because we can. Plus, there’s something about the rich, warming flavor of Flathead Lake Brewing Co.’s IPA2 that just tastes so good on these cold, snowy cloudy days that are in abundance in Western Montana this year.
Flathead Lake Brewing’s IPA2 is a double, or imperial india pale ale, that packs a lot in to its 8.9% abv frame. I’ve heard it is their best selling beer and it’s not hard to taste why. IPA2 has a rich copper color with a strong white head. There are aromas of light caramel malt mixing with floral hops. The flavor is full and rich with an almost creamy mouthfeel until the hops take over. An initial strong malt backbone is replaced quickly by full hop flavors primarily of pine and resin hops. The bitterness level is moderate. It stays in check by the additional malt used to bring this IPA up to an imperial level and never gets overpowering. There is a lingering hop bitterness in the finish.
It is an excellent brew, but be careful with it. At 8.9% abv, IPA2 doesn’t make a good session beer, though you may well want it to be.