I love Miami Vice, and no, I’m not talking about that stupid Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell movie. I’m talking about the spectacular 80s show featuring Crockett and Tubbs, pastel colors, speedboats, and sports cars. The show is so intriguing to me, and I get so into it; the acting isn’t always the best by today’s standards, but I still enjoy it nonetheless. When I saw that Miami Brewing Co. had a Vice IPA, I knew I had to find a way to purchase it. I mean, come on, it combines two of my favorite things: Miami Vice and an IPA. So, when we were in Miami, I knew that I had to get it before we left, because I don’t make it to Miami as much as I would like. I found the beer, made the trek back to Birmingham, and I threw it in the fridge. I waited about as long as I could before I cracked one open. I guess I was waiting because I knew, when I started drinking it, it would shorten my time that I could be with it. It’s like a collectable to me at this point, but nonetheless, I cracked open the first one this afternoon, turned on an episode of Miami Vice, and enjoyed the two side by side.
First of all, the can is not nearly as cool as I would want it to be. I mean, there are so many options when you’ve got a Miami Vice influenced beer. Regardless of what the outside looked like, the inside is what really matters. That being said, I wanted to take in every part of this beer as much as I could. It poured a deep golden, almost orange, hue with a lingering thin, off-white head that was somewhere between bubbly and foamy. I’m not sure if there is someone measuring the amount of beer being put into the cans, but this one wasn’t as full as others I have had in the past.
The aromas were nice and pleasant, but heavier on the toffee and caramel
than most IPAs that I’m used to. There were some nice notes of citrus, specifically grapefruit and orange, paired with
some earthy hops in it as well. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about Miami Brewing beer, now having two, it’s that everything smells distinctly tropical. The aromas remind me of the beach and fresh fruit. Maybe I’m forcing too much here,
but it’s just something that clicks in
my head.
The flavor was a bit milder than I was expecting, but still nice nonetheless. Up front, you get a ton of toffee and caramel that settles well on the tongue and then powers through your nose. After hanging out with the caramel and toffee notes for a while, you start to pick up on some of the citrus flavor, but it’s very light. I wish there was a little more citrus, being that Florida is the citrus Mecca that it is, but there just isn’t a lot there. It finishes up with some nice herbal notes that substitute the citrus flavors nicely. It leaves a nice aftertaste of toffee and orange with some bitterness from the hops on the back of your tongue and makes you want to take another sip.
The mouthfeel is around the same, as you would expect from a classic American IPA. There is a tart bitterness towards the end that comes standard from and IPA, but it also has a nice carbonation level that doesn’t mask the flavor. The beer settles nicely on the tongue and allows you to pick up the flavors from the beer quite well. It’s not harsh in the least bit, and, dare I say, easy going and easy to drink. It’s one of the lightest IPAs I’ve had in a long time, and in the words of Crockett “this is Miami, things are more relaxed.” Measuring at 5.3%, you really don’t pick up on a lot of alcohol which was nice and makes this for a somewhat sessionable IPA.
The profiles in this beer are brewed so that it compliments well with different types of food, much like most IPAs. If you plan on finding this beer and having it with dinner, I would suggest pairing it with chicken, or any poultry for that matter, something spicy, like Thai or Chinese, basically anything deep fried, or, if you’re in Miami, some really nice Cuban food. The flavors would blend nicely and add to your dinner experience. I plan on doing so this weekend, hopefully, with a recipe for Cuban chicken that I found earlier today.
Overall, this beer is great, and it doesn’t bring down the Miami Vice name. Miami Brewing, although a young brewery, knows what they’re doing and really focus on the flavor profiles of the beers they produce. While I did have a small issue with the flavors of the beer, it’s extremely well balanced and has all the qualities of a nicely crafted American IPA. The bold caramel and toffee mixed with the citrus and herbal hops blend together to make something that any seasoned beer drinker would enjoy. I know that when I make it back down to Miami, I’m going to pick up more than one of these six packs so I don’t have to guard them from myself.

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