Portland, OR (& Battle Creek, WA) - While the fact remains, this region is obsessed with hops. From the Willamette to the Yakima's, to the hills of Idaho, we love a good hoppy beer. However, every once in a while in between the burps, and the onset of another bout of 'wrecked palate', we wish for something just a tad on the lighter side of hops.
The next beer that we reviewed was one of that legitimately would make IPA'head, perform a massive 'stoning' of hops, out of disgust. However, as the brewer has admitted, this is their interpretation of another style.
Laurelwood's Hop Monkey India Pale Ale, is a truly unique beast. Born of the brain of head brewer Chad Kennedy, and with the intent on creating a "Northwest Pale Ale" this India Pale Ale was worth checking out.
With the cap ripped off, we examined the IPA as it poured its dark orange but clear bitterness into the glass. As the beer rested a strong off-white foamy head could be noticed at the top before receding leaving behind only a tattered curtain (like a cat on 'nip) of lace inside.
The initial fruity aroma given off is reminiscent of orange citrus with a subtle odor of pine before finishing with a caramel sweetness.
Sipping on this you are greeted by sweet honey with some underlying roasted character that only rests for a moment as a dryness from the grapefruit citrus takes hold.
Hop Monkey is a balanced, assertively hopped IPA for the discerning beer drinker. Brewed with Northwest grown barley and hops, this beer features a citrusy hop aroma that’s complemented by a full, rounded hop flavor.
Comments from the Brewmaster:
Chad: “Our version of a Pale Ale- a bit hoppier than most but that’s the way we like it.”
Alcohol Content: 6%
Original Gravity: 14.5º Plato
Terminal Gravity: 2.5º Plato
Malt: GW 2 Row, GW C 15, GW C40
Hops: Atanhum, Centennial, Cascade
You Should Try. For the curious toes dipping in the curiosities for tasting hoppy beers, this would be a good start. This beer has a definite balance to it as opposed to the usually expected 'lotta hops'. For the hop head who can't get enough, this beer might make you think you're drinking a pale ale. On the grounds as
Overall a great beer, even if the name infers an overly bitter American-style brew.