Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beer Tasting: Newcastle Winter IPA

Today we have a special beer from Newcastle. Owned by Heineken, the Newcastle Brand has seen some new varieties show up in the United States over the past few years. For those who like the Newcastle Brown Ale, Winter IPA should be a welcome addition.

For those familiar with Newcastle Brown Ale, Winter IPA will appear similar when poured from the bottle. It has a nutty brown color and a creamy, almost fluffy, head. After a smell and a taste, though, one will find that Winter IPA is distinctly different.
Winter IPA is based on the India Pale Ales from the early 18th century. India Pale Ales were made in Imperial Britain for travelers to take on the long trek to India. Brewers found that hops and alcohol help prevent beer from spoiling, so they upped the hops and alcohol content. 

American IPAs often have a very strong hop presence. Newcastle Winter IPA, however, is much lighter on the hops and slightly more hopped than the traditional pale ales. It also weighs in at 5.6% ABV versus the 4.7% found in Newcastle Brown.

Newcastle Winter IPA has a spiced or zesty smell, much like other winter seasonals.The initial taste is of a spiced ale and rounds out with a sweet malt and balanced hop bitterness. The aftertaste is lightly bitter and zesty. Newcastle Winter IPA pairs very well with both seasoned foods and sweet treats, so be sure to try it out with some of your holiday leftovers! If you don't have any leftovers, I would recommend making a seasoned beef roast or steak and for dessert have some chocolate and caramel popcorn.

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