Monday, July 16, 2012

Oregon IPAs — Cascade Lakes vs. Terminal Gravity/Double Mountain Collaboration

Cascade Lakes IRA
ABV 6.8%
Terminal Gravity/Double Mountain
Collaboration IPA
ABV 7.2% 
This battle featured a couple of non-standard IPAs from Oregon. Representing the beer mecca of Bend was the Cascade Lakes IRA and hailing from Enterprise (Terminal Gravity) and Hood River (Double Mountain) was the Gravity Mountain Collaboration IPA. 

The Gravity Mountain continues a growing trend of two (or more) breweries combining their knowledge and resources to create a special collaborative concoction. For those not familiar with IRA, it is simply a variation of a normal IPA. It stands for India Red Ale, a hybrid name created from IPA and red ale.

The color of the Cascade Lakes wasn't so much red as hazy orangish brown. In the aroma it had lots of bready malts and a touch of milk chocolate with no significant hop presence. The hops came out in the flavor however, as it started sweet and ultimately gave way to some grassy, herbal and citrusy hop notes. The finish was mild and sweet with a pleasant mild bitterness.

The Gravity Mountain had a cloudy, golden hue and a strong and funky marijuana aroma. The flavor was dominated by the funky hops with just a touch of sweet maltiness in the background. On the finish it was acidic and bitter, a harsh and long-lasting bitter greens sort of bitter.

Neither beer really wowed us. To our palates they were both decent but unimpressive. The victory went to the Cascade Lakes IRA because we just don't care for IPAs that smell like pot. Not sure if it's a specific variety of hop or a style of beer making, but it's not for us.

Winner by Unanimous Decision: Cascade Lakes IRA

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