The weather lately has been a little less than desirable, unless you’re one of those people that enjoy the rain, and then you’ve been really happy, but also weird. Today started out full of gloom, but by 3 PM, the rain was out and the sunshine was in full effect and it was time to open a beer. I haven’t drank a lot of IPAs lately and I’ve had a pick six just sitting in my fridge for about two weeks now, so today was the day I solved that problem. I reached for the Loose Cannon Hop3 IPA from Heavy Seas, which seems a bit generic, I know, but I have yet to try this one and I’m not sure why. I’m not even sure if I’ve had too many beers from Maryland before, either. Let me tell you though, this beer isn’t very ordinary, nor is it generic, because the flavors of this beer really threw me for a loop. This was the first time I’ve had a triple hopped IPA, but I suppose there’s a first time for everything and today was the day I conquered the Heavy Seas.
First off, the beer has an outstanding aroma and it’s much, much stronger than a lot of beers that I’ve been in contact with lately. Being that it is triple hopped on Simcoe, Palisade, and Centennial, you get a lot of hop aroma, but very little hop bitterness, but more on that in a moment. There is an intensely strong citrus presence in the way of orange and tangerine. There are some other scents in there, like the usual caramel malt and some grain, but the scent doesn’t stray too far from the citrus aspect. That’s something I’ve grown to appreciate, too; the fact that a lot of breweries are using more and more hops to create their bitterness component just seems like a lack of creativity in my book. If you focus more on the citrus notes and the malt for your bitterness, nine times out of ten the beer will be much better, well, to me anyways. A good IPA doesn’t really even have to have a serious bitterness either, but that’s a topic for another day.
I chose not to pour this into a glass, because I was drinking it outside and mosquitoes and flies are serious around my house right now; but from what I can tell online, the beer pours a nice clear amber color with a thin white head that disappears almost immediately. This sounds about right considering how uncharacteristically light this was for an IPA, and don’t take that as a bad thing, because it makes for a great session beer or a summer IPA.
The taste almost mirrors the aroma, but with a few more components thrown in. Again, you get a lot of the citrus, mainly orange and tangerine, maybe some grapefruit (hard to tell), but as you continue through the sip some other flavors begin to develop. You start to pick up a nice pine note that sits on your tongue and follows through your nose; it seems to also cleanse the palate as well. You can also note some classic caramel malt flavors, but those really seem to play second fiddle to the citrus flavors that come out swinging when you take the first sip. It finishes fairly dry and leaves an aftertaste reminiscent of the pine and citrus flavors that were so strong in the beginning. One other thing I noticed is that once the beer started to warm up, the flavors of the caramel started to become more prominent and moved up to the forefront above the pine. It’s like the floral aspect of it overrode the bitterness as the temperature rose as well, but then again, the bitterness was never really apparent, so we win the battle on all fronts.
The mouthfeel has some characteristics that remind me of a nice Double IPA, but at the same time, the classic IPA body is there. As it sets your tongue, you really can pick up on a creaminess that sets this beer apart from a lot of beers in the style, but not for long. A dry, astringent quality sets in and immediately turns dry as it finishes. The carbonation level is nice and low, just where I would like it to be for a beer of this magnitude, and at 7.25%, you don’t pick up on the alcohol like a lot of beers of the style. I could definitely drink multiples of this one on mouthfeel alone.
Overall, this was absolutely not what I was expecting. I see this beer in a lot of places, but have always been apprehensive about picking it up. I’m glad I finally broke down my illogical wall of doubt and ventured out to this bad boy. The flavors were exceptional and all the components came together to make a fantastic IPA. I wish I had only known about this goodness sooner, because I could have saved myself from a lot of bad beers pretending to be IPAs. I will definitely be picking this one up again just to enjoy outdoors. There are a lot of IPAs that I would never advise for summertime drinking, but this one breaks from that mold. I can’t wait for more.

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