It's common assumption that there are two styles of India Pale Ale that one must seek out and enjoy. The first is considered the father of the style, English India Pale Ale. While the latter, American, is considered the more rambunctious and sometimes rebellious. If one employs the car analogy an English / English-style IPA is to Aston Martins what an American-style IPAs is to Corvette, Mustang, or Camaro.
Whichever preference it's a safe bet that you have your favorite 'style'. So with that we would like to add another brewery's India Pale Ale to your list for consideration.
Suggested Style Guidelines from the Brewers Association
American-style India pale ales are perceived to have medium-high to intense hop bitterness, flavor and aroma with medium-high alcohol content. The style is further characterized by fruity, floral and citrus-like American-variety hop character. Note that fruity, floral and citrus-like American-variety hop character is the perceived end, but may be a result of the skillful use of hops of other national origins. The use of water with high mineral content results in a crisp, dry beer. This pale gold to deep copper-colored ale has a full, flowery hop aroma and may have a strong hop flavor (in addition to the perception of hop bitterness). India pale ales possess medium maltiness which contributes to a medium body. Fruity-ester flavors and aromas are moderate to very strong. Diacetyl can be absent or may be perceived at very low levels. Chill and/or hop haze is allowable at cold temperatures.
Nasty Habit characteristically is what you would expect from an India Pale Ale. Resting in the glass it’s easy to confirm this, either through it's reddish-orange color and strong clarity. As it settles there is a strong, inch-and-a-half of off-white head that rests on top, before quickly receding leaving behind small islands of lace throughout the inside of the glass.
Sipping it's easy to confirm what our nose was already telling us. Throughout the sip there appears a balance of grapefruit, mandarin, and other assorted citrus hops; mixing well with the sweet aspects of vanilla and sweet caramel. Overall Mt. Begbie's Nasty Habit India Pale Ale has a medium to light body to it and there is some minor stickiness, but nothing unexpected.
You Should Consider It. If someone was looking for a subtle introduction into what an American-style India Pale Ale is, we think that Mt. Begbie is a good start. One could almost call this a gateway India Pale Ale with its balance and mild hop profile. As usual we can't help but pondering some honey smoked ham paired with some buttery cheese.
Thoughts by your Colleagues
Given that Driftwood currently only distributes in Canada this bottle was purchased at the Viti Wine and Lager, liquor store (900 Seymour Street Vancouver BC V6B 3L9). One of the very few liquor stores that has probably one of the better beer selections in Vancouver.