875: Pike IPA

Name: Pike IPA
Brewery: Pike Brewing Company
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Seattle, Washington
Style: American IPA
Alcohol Content (ABV): 6.3%
First Brewed: 1990
Price: $3.99

Tasting Notes
On the nose, earthy and piney notes to the fore with some caramelly maltiness and hints of apricot fruitiness. The palate is massaged by very balanced flavors of crisp and slightly nutty pale malt. There is a modestly bitter mid-taste, with a long, clean, bitter and fruity aftertaste.

Ricky’s Thoughts

I have never been to Seattle, but Sheryl went this year for a few days. She stayed in downtown Seattle and had a great time. Now that we are in Arizona, hopefully we can take a week there in the near future. While she was there she went to Pike Brewing Company. She brought back some beers including the Pike Monk’s Uncle Tripel Ale (which is on our list) and the Pike IPA, which is also on our list. Tonight we are digging into a bottle of the IPA with hope it made the trip from Indiana without harm. The last few beers we opened that traveled west with us have been spoiled. This one looks good in the bottle… let’s drink!

In the Glass: This is a good looking IPA. We have a bomber of this, so it makes nearly two pints. The beer is thick, almost orange, and has a huge rich foamy head. The head sticks around for a while, too. The lace is perfect… what a good IPA should be! This is my first beer from Pike, and while I haven’t been to Seattle, I am excited to try this beer.

Nose: Not as much nose as I had hoped. But since this beer traveled with us from Indiana, I have to count my lucky stars that we can even drink it! Cheers to that. What I am getting from the nose is subtle earthy aroma that reminds me of the Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA. Granted, the Dogfish Head is nearly 20% ABV… but the balance that beer brings, even though it has such an impressive ABV, is still something to write home about.

Flavor: The flavor is nice. It isn’t as hoppy as I wanted, but even though I consider myself a “hop head”, I can still appreciate a well-balanced IPA. That is what this is. There are some earthy notes in the flavor, as well. Not like chewing on dirt or anything… but there is some substance there. From the time it hits your lips, it is just a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice, too. There isn’t much going on up front, but when it hits the back of your palate, the thickness kicks in and you get a feeling for the craft part of this craft beer. This isn’t your average IPA. There is a certain thickness that reminds me of some home brews I have had. Toward the end, the beer quickly turns to the best part… the aftertaste.

Aftertaste: Whoa, that’s a nice aftertaste. The beer is thick, and leaves a mighty finish on your tongue… then you swallow thinking there is still beer in your mouth. Nope. That’s just the thick and creamy aftertaste that I wish all beers had. The aftertaste lasts, too. I am talking a good three minutes or more. It’s weird, because with most hoppy beers, the aftertaste is there but quickly turns to a copper flavor. This beer just hangs on with that creaminess that you experience across the board. A very well done IPA.

This is my first experience with Pike beers… and I am impressed. I can’t wait to get out to Seattle and try these beers on at the brewery. Imagine drinking these at the brewpub. Can’t wait!!! I would say, even if you don’t like an IPA, you would enjoy this. There is enough balance and malt character to go around. It’s not malty… but it is one of the most malty IPAs I have had in a while. Bottoms up, people!

Pike IPA – The bottle says: “NA”

Rating: 4/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

I was kind of worried after the last beer that we reviewed, that tonight’s bottle would end up be flat and gross as well.  I haven’t tasted it yet, but so far it doesn’t seem to be.  It poured into the glass with plenty of head, so let’s hope we’re ok.  But this beer made the same trip that the last one did.  In fact, not only did this one make the trip from Indy to Arizona, before that it came to Indy from Seattle.  I took a trip to Seattle in March of this year and visited the Pike Brewery.  It is a really neat place, and walking distance from the Pike Place Market.  I loved the brewery as well as Seattle itself.  I’d definitely love to go back and visit again soon.

The beer, as I said, has plenty of head when poured out into the glass.  It’s also very thick looking.  You can’t see through it at all.  It’s kind of an orangish-brown color.  The head on my glass of it has dissipated nicely and it looks pretty tasty to drink.  It smells pretty good too.  Not too strong, but definitely has that characteristic IPA scent to it.  Let’s see if it tastes as good as it looks.

As I started to take a drink, the first thing I noticed is that the smell hits me a bit more.  It just smells… good.  And, well, the taste is pretty solid and consistent with the smell.  I like IPAs, but I was starting to get tired of them lately.  There are so many, and they are just getting more popular, so they were almost starting to bore me.  But this one brings me back to why I like IPAs in the first place.  This one is just really well-balanced, in my opinion.  That’s why I like this brewery.  Their beers are just good.  I really want Ricky to visit too.  I think he would be a big fan of Pike, as if their beers aren’t enough to convince him!  I just really like the flavor of this beer as an IPA.  It’s not overly hoppy, but leaves me with enough hop to know I’m definitely drinking an IPA.  Definitely one I’d buy again.  If it was available here, this might even be my go-to IPA.  Good job, Pike.

Rating: 4/5 

874 bottles of beer on the wall…

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