Style: IPA, fresh-hopped
Availability: annually, September through December
Pairing: bar food, cheeseburgers, salt caramels
Summary: A unique, nonassertive take on the classic IPA great for those who like their beers on the sweater side.
Try as I might, I’m having a lot of trouble wrapping my head around IPAs and DIPAs these days. Perhaps I just got burnt out on them a few years back or perhaps its because what I always considered them a pretty reasonable session beer with slightly more punch than a pale ale as morphedinto a bigger, high alcohol, sipping monster. Whatever the reason, I’ve been jaded and am now on a mission to resolve to rekindle my love of the hop. Thankfully, Heavy-Handed IPA from Illinois Two Brothers brewery is a great starter in the quest.
A unique, fresh hopped IPA, Heavy-Handed IPA pours a deep tangerine and is held together by carmel and chocolate flavors in the malt back that result in sweet, toffee nose. The use of American wet hops (hops added to the boil within minutes of being picked rather than the traditional, dried variety) adds a solid pine flavor tickled with some floral undertones. As the initial hops quickly fade away the finish brings on a sharp grapefruit flavor. Heavy-Handed is properly carbonated with the same lacing and mouthfeel you’d get from a hundred other brews in this style. My 12oz bottle went down smooth and was finished sooner than I would have liked.
Overall. Heavy Handed IPA has a unique malt for an IPA and a modest bitterness with 65 IBUs. But despite the unique character, it come across with more drinkability than most other current offerings I’ve tried lately. I could easily session a six-pack of this. And would even store a few for the later winter months once fresh-hop season availability ended.