November 2, 2009
Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale
There are some breweries that, in my mind, seem to be able to do no wrong. Yards, Ballast Point, Russian River are just a few that come to mind immediately. I'm adding Green Flash to that list. I love their West Coast IPA, and I can now add the Hop Head Red Ale to my list of favorites.
The name really tells you what you're getting with this beer. It's a red ale but so much more than just a red ale, as indicated by the addition of "hop head". It's a red ale for those people, like me, who love the hops.
The pour is what you would expect from a red ale - a nice, clear red.
According to the BJCP, the aroma for red ales should exhibit "low to moderate hop aroma from dry hopping or late kettle additions of American hop varieties. A citrusy hop character is common, but not required. Moderately low to moderately high maltiness balances and sometimes masks the hop presentation, and usually shows a moderate caramel character". And the aroma (and taste) is where the "hop head" of this beer really comes through. The smell of hops overrides that of the malt - it's just the way I like it, piney and citrusy.
The taste starts off hoppy, with some nice malt flavors coming in after. This definitely isn't what you would expect from a typical red ale. I guess that's why even the brewers beg the question "Is it red IPA?" I would answer emphatically and excitedly "yes!" followed by "give me another!"