This week, I was introduced to Founders Brewing Co. – they’ve been around for quite a while, but I haven’t had any of their brews. For the beer drinker, Centennial IPA falls into the “must try” category, as it has really set the standard in the world of American IPA’s.
From ratebeer.com: “Selected as a benchmark for the Beer Judge Certification Program used in all American based beer judgings. Centennial IPA has quickly become the IPA of choice. Pour yourself a pint of this complex flavorful ale and bask in the frothy head?s floral bouquet. Relish the immense citrus accents, achieved by the abundance of dry hopping. This ale?s sweet, malty undertones balance the hop character with a finish that never turns too bitter.”
And from the Founders Brewing folks: “Get ready to bask in the glory of the frothy head?s floral bouquet. Relish the citrus accents from the abundance of dry hopping. This one?s sweet, yet balanced. Malty undertones shake hands with the hop character for a finish that never turns too bitter.”
I’ve become a huge fan of the lighter-flavored IPA’s recently, brewed with a sweeter taste. Loose Cannon, Double Jack, along those lines. Even with Last Chance, there’s just a certain smoothness that your typical IPA doesn’t possess. And since I’d gotten away from the traditional IPA for so long, Centennial caught me a little off guard.
Right off the bat, Centennial smells like a beer. No hidden scents, no warmth. Straight up piney hops and citrus. When it hits the nose, you get a very good idea of what you’re in for. There’s no mistaking that IPA aroma!
It pours really nicely with a two finger, cream-colored head over a slightly cloudy amber body. The foam dissipates slowly, retaining about a half-finger head behind that coats the glass with a decent amount of lacing.
Centennial is great from the first sip – as long as you’re an IPA fan. If ?you aren’t – just steer clear. Right off the bat, the hops are there and they override everything. While you get some hints of malts and citrus, any hint you catch, gives way to the hops again. To me, this is actually a good thing. I hate trying to figure out what I’m tasting – some beers, as good as they taste, they’re overly complicated and you can get caught up in trying to figure out what all is crossing your taste buds. With an IPA like this, the simplicity is what you find yourself enjoying. It is bitter, but not overly so. The citrus is there and I guess keeps it in check, but like I said, you only get hints of the citrus coming through, which tells me this is more balanced than the initial taste led me to believe. And at 7.2%, you’re not overwhelmed by the alcohol.
This is a winner for me. I mean, Centennial IPA IS an award winner, but for me, it was a great IPA that served as a reminder to what an IPA is supposed to be. I’ll definitely be buying it again. At $10.99 for the six pack, it’s a little pricier than my usual $9.99 limit, but in my opinion, it’s worth it!
I’m giving Centennial IPA a 7 out of 10!?