Diabolical India Pale Ale
North Peak Brewing Company, Traverse City – MI
Information: From their Site “A full bodied American Pale Ale, with the aggressive flavor of fresh hops from the Pacific Northwest.“
This is one of those beers that, oddly, doesn’t make its way toward this side of our fair state (that’d be Michigan) very often. At least not to my store (that’d be Portage City Wine Cellar) very often. In fact, I haven’t been to Traverse City in a minute, so, obviously I had no idea this brew even existed. Sad… sad. Anyway, as you can see by the bottle, this little 11.5 ounce looks a whole ton like Red Stripe. I’m cool with that, since it’s obviously a throwback to how bottles looked long before long necks, which are pretty much the norm at this point. So far, so good. Also, having a name like ‘Diabolical’ anything is already a good start. I’m so on board… let’s open this fella!
Ooh… nice, rich head, a very IPA-like pour, which makes a lot of sense, considering. There’s the nice golden hue with a fine opaque silt hovering around inside, and it looks rather reminiscent of its brethren. So far not too out of the ordinary, and that’s… okay? Well, as I wrote that last line, the head dropped to a half-inch cap. The nose is a fine melange of hoppy-grapefruit and hay. Nicely crisp and clean. Time fire a taste.
It’s almost a little too sweet to let the bitter hoppiness shine through. That’s unexpected. There are mixed flavors of vanilla, honey, and of course the bitter, fruity hops… just not as lively as you’d expect from something titled, ‘Diabolical’. Seriously, in purchasing this six pack, I was sold immediately by the name: DIABOLICAL. It just instantly screams “mean, harsh, ass-kicking, and brutal”, right? It’s not, and I’m a little sad about that. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad beer by any stretch, nor does it taste like anything off-putting at all… let’s get that out of the way right now. Yet, it’s certainly not the DIABOLICAL taste I had been expecting. Yes, I am disappointed. Then again, I’m not going to not finish this or the other five bottles. But I will shake my head when I do.
Rating: * * *
It’s doubtless an American IPA, but it’s most definitely not Diabolical.