House of Brews' Adobe IPA
Adobe is one of the hoppiest beers that House of Brews has released since opening in 2012.
"I'm hoping to give the hopheads more of what they are looking for," says Page Buchanan, owner and brewmaster at House of Brews.
What is it? Adobe by House of Brews of Madison.
Style: The India Pale Ale (IPA) emphasizes the bitterness of hops, which can provide herbal, citrus and piney character in aroma and flavor. IPAs are medium-bodied and often golden- to copper-colored. They range from 5.5% to 7.5% ABV.
Background: Adobe is one of four new beers Buchanan is releasing this year. Each showcases a particular hop. With Adobe, the dominant bitter characteristics come from Amarillo, known for tropical and citrus tones with hints of orange, grapefruit and lemon. The beer also has small amounts of Summit and Cascade hops, but it's the Amarillo that comes to the forefront.
This beer has been in the works for a while. Buchanan says it's a replacement for his pale ale, Full House, which he made soon after opening but hasn't offered for over a year. Adobe is "more what I was aiming for in a beer that showcases the flavor and aroma of hops," he says. He chose Amarillo because he's fascinated with the variety and says he was inspired by Leinenkugel's Big Eddy Imperial IPA, one of the first beers he remembers to "feature a huge dose of Amarillo."
The beer finishes around 7.6% ABV and 55 IBUs. It's sold in 22-ounce bomber bottles for $10. Other hop-focused releases Buchanan is planning: Pagoda, a beer featuring Sorachi Ace, Japanese hops; Citadel, to show off Citra hops; and Cathedral, made with Mosaic hops.
Aroma: A citrus-hoppiness with a hint of lemon and orange.
Appearance: Hazy, orange-amber. A medium-to-thick rocky head.
Texture: Medium bodied, bubbly and round.
Taste: Solid bitterness, with a mild caramel-bready maltiness in the background.
Finish/Aftertaste: Crisp citrus bitterness with a touch of dryness.
Glassware: The Willi Becher, with its inward taper near the lip, will focus the nose, hold the head and show off the beer's vivid orange-amber color .
Pairs well with: IPAs are nice beers for spicy foods from pizza to chili, or blue cheeses.
Rating: Three Bottle Openers.
The Verdict: Adobe steps up the hoppy game for House of Brews. While it clearly falls into the range of bitterness I look for in an IPA, it may not have the sharp bite that some desire. The tropical bitterness of the Amarillo hops is assertive without overwhelming the palate. I like its solid hop signature with crisp lemon, orange and grapefruit tones. Abobe is a nice IPA, with solid hop character, but not as assertive in bitter flavor and aroma as Karben4 Fantasy Factory, for example, or Ale Asylum Ballistic.
It's also a beer you'll want to get while it's fresh, and serve it cold (at refrigerator temps).