It was Saturday afternoon and I was at the beer store in Joliet again. I was relatively early, traffic was light, the weather was nice, so I decided to take my time. A couple of beers caught my eye, one being a Red IPA that was brand spanking new from a brewery I hadn’t heard of. Lagunitas Hop Stoopid tapped me on the shoulder. Every beer from Oskar Blues beckoned like the night ladies in the windows in Amsterdam. The few pumpkin beers averted their eyes. They knew.
I had traversed the aisle three times while using my Beer Buddy app to get info on candidates. Finally my eyes dropped down to the second shelf from the floor. There was a slug of New Holland Hatter beers in sixpacks and not bombers. Now that would be a deal. One was indeed interesting. It was an IPA made with Galaxy hops called Tasmanian Hatter Galaxy IPA. The label on the bottle back mentioned tropical flavors. We have a winner. I snatched a sixer and headed to the counter to pay.
The trip home was routine. The beer soon got cold and I was hankerin’ for the taste of some dan unduh hops. Let’s drink some beer.
It was a picture perfect beer. The right amount of head you’d expect, the color was perfect for the style of beer. Although the liquid was a bit translucent, it looked delicious. The aroma was slight and had a scent of piney, grassy hops.
The first sip was a small surprise. The flavors were there but nothing reached out and grabbed me as being tropical. Maybe as my palate gets used to the invader, things will come forward. (Maybe my palate is just completely worn out.) I could taste that it was an IPA alright but the overall flavor was a bit different. The hop bitterness remained at the back of the mouth and not in the throat. It was not an unpleasant taste, it was just different.
The brewery’s description of the beer is of course a bit embellished:
Tasmanian Hatter brings you flavors from the region of the Tasman Sea. Hops from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest combine to present bright, tropical flavors of mango and citrus, beautifully framed with biscuity malt character.
The Galaxy hops originated in Australia. Nelson Sauvin hops are from New Zealand and Mosaic from the Pacific northwest. So where does this beer gets its namesake of Tasmania? I don’t know either. Also, I think the malt character, while being genuinely biscuity, does not frame flavors, but rather supports it. (Marketerspeak.) I couldn’t distinguish any tropical fruit characteristics let alone mango and I did not find any of the flavors to be “bright.” More like a 40-watt bulb.
New Holland has had the Hatter series for sometime and the Tasmanian Hatter was new for 2015. Each one of the five beer entries in this series in IPA featuring various hop varieties from various geographic locations. What the release dates are and any reference to Alice in Wonderland is not forthcoming.
Tasmanian Hatter is a decent IPA and should be considered as a go-to beer if you’re looking for a change. The hop flavors are unique but not one hop variety has a spotlight on it. They all blend together the unique taste. I never tasted any tropical fruits although grassy and slightly citrusy tastes came by every so often.
Next time you’re down at the bottle shop, pick up a sixer. Like the old Alka Seltzer commercial said, “Try it you’ll like it.”
Style: India Pale Ale
Taste: Decent tasting IPA with unique flavor.
Smoothness: The hops are present, but laid back.
Drinkability: They go down nice and easy.
Bang for the buck: On a par with other IPAs.
Amount paid: $10.99 per sixpack of 12-ounce bottles.
Get it again? Perhaps I will.
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: (Sniff) Bitter. (sip) See, I get nothing but foam and that’s icky. (sip) Kinda dry…I’m getting nothing but dry. (sip) Bitter dry. (I think she went to take a shower.)
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