After our farewell review of Belgo, New Belgium’s short-lived Belgian IPA, I wanted to be on the ball with getting the low down on its replacement. Lucky for you, Beer Guy LA knows how to make things happen. I was lucky enough to get a sample of this brand new beer while making the rounds the other night at Beer Belly. Without further ado, I present to you an exclusive look at Rampant IPA.
Rampant represents a shift in New Belgium’s beer philosophy. Up until the release of Ranger in 2010, New Belgium had stuck very closely to an almost exclusively Belgian style line up for its year round offerings. Today, Ranger ranks as their second best seller, with Fat Tire claiming the number one spot. Since then they have slowly started to embrace the hop side. Rampant represents the culmination of these hoppy ventures.
“A burly and bitter Imperial IPA, Rampant pours a pure copper and carries the sheen of a rightly hopped beer. The Mosaic and Calypso hops bring stonefruit to the front seat, and the addition of Centennials nod towards citrus for a well-rounded aroma. The taste expands these hops with heavy peach tones and a profoundly bitter bite. There is some malt sweetness to stand this beer up, and Rampant’s finish is bone-dry.” – New Belgium
The beer pours a golden yellow with an average lace. Aroma has a hoppy tropical fruitiness with an interesting blueberry note and a subtle sweet malt backing. The mouthfeel pretty on par with other double IPAs, with a medium body and average carbonation. The flavor starts with a sweet malt and moves to a tropical stone fruit flavor and finishes with a bitter citrus rind hop. The aftertaste has dry, bitter citrus hop with a slight burn in the back of the throat.
I very much enjoyed the little taste that I was fortunate enough to get and am looking forward to getting to have more of this brew. I’ve been hearing for a while about how the new strains of hops are really going to change the game, but this has to be be one of the first solid examples that I have seen. It has exactly what you’d expect in the aroma, with a good hop forward fruitiness, but doesn’t assault your palate like some other double IPAs. The biggest kicker is going to be the price point. You can expect to see a six pack of Rampant in the $8-9 range, putting it at the same cost as most other breweries double IPA four packs. With the ever expanding audience for hoppy beer, it will be very interesting to see how the rest of the industry responds to this.
Rampant IPA will be hitting the LA market on March 3 2013, at which point I’d highly recommend giving it a shot. Shy of Lagunitas’ hoppy seasonal IPAs, this may very well become my go to 12oz double IPA.
|Brewery||New Belgium Brewing|
Draft, 22oz, & 6-Pack
|Rating||4 out of 5|
Beer Guy LA