Still fresh

26 Oct

Worst. Name. Ever.

Even though we are at the tail end of the fresh hop extravaganza here in the Pacific NW, I thought I would give a quick take on a couple more fresh hop beers that are taking up space in the kitchen fridge (gotta get rid of them before the wife returns from D.C.).  I’ve gone on, at length, on my favorite fresh hop beers of the season…but here’s one that didn’t quite live up to its billing: Deschutes Chasin’ Freshies Fresh Hop IPA.  A couple of things:

1.  It looks, smells, and tastes like a Pilsner.  I’m just saying…this tastes nothing like an IPA to me.

2.  It doesn’t taste particularly “fresh”.  I realize that it’s hard to describe what that means, but it just tastes like a normal, albeit well-made beer.  Many other fresh hop beers I have had just have that certain something to them that screams fresh from the vine.  They are bright and snappy, with just a hint of a vegetal quality.

3.  The hops are not particularly noticeable, in the sense that there is nothing unique or interesting about the hop flavors here.  They used one variety of heirloom Cascades in the recipe, but it doesn’t taste particularly of fresh Cascades to me.

4.  I have read some other reviews that don’t understand what “Chasin’ Freshies” means.  I think it has something to do with finding good powder to ski/snowboard on (hence the label picture).  Whatever it means, the name makes me snicker and roll my eyes all at the same time.  Not the best way to convince me to drink a beer.

This is a well-balanced, well-made beer.  I have nothing bad to say about it in terms of its flavors and drinkability.  It was damn tasty.  In terms of fresh hop beers, though?  Nowhere close to its Mirror Pond brother/sister or other recent fresh hops I have had: Elysian/New Belgium Collaboration and Ninkasi Total Crystalization to name a few.  We are talking beers that just sat up and smacked you in the mouth with flavor and character.  And really, I’m not some style-Nazi with craft beer, but IPA doesn’t really describe this beer properly.  Beyond all that judgement though, is me telling you that this beer is well made and worth having a pint or two.  They gotta work on that name though…

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