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#26 New Belgium Ranger IPA


#26 New Belgium Ranger IPA

Type: India Pale Ale
Container: Bottle
ABV: 6.5%
Sticker Price: $8.99/6-pack of bottles

We are not big IPA fans in this house. However, I occasionally want something bitter and this does not disappoint. Delivering a train car of hops with a touch of sweetness makes this a refreshing kick in the caboose.

  • Rating (5=best): 4
  • Nose: Huge on citrusy hops. Pine, lemon and corriander notes. Over time, damp pine wood with a tiny bit of dank litterbox…
  • Flavor: Nice clean bitterness that isn’t too strong. Menthol-like tingle with subtle lemony sweetness. Burnt orange.
  • Finish: Bitterness lingers with grapefruit rind flavors. Quite dry.
  • Notes: While the nose got a bit funky over time, the flavor persisted and the finish lasts a while. Great example of an IPA.
  • Shilpi: “It smells good. It tastes bitter. I don’t like the IPAs!”

#22 Samuel Adams Rebel IPA


#22 Samuel Adams Rebel IPA

Type: IPA
Container: Bottle
ABV: 6.5%
Sticker Price: $7.99/6-pack of bottles

I don’t love IPAs and tend toward the darker, malty brews. They do have their time and place. After a very hot and busy month, I wanted something refreshing and bright to cool me off and cool me down. This IPA was just the ticket.

  • Rating (5=best): 4
  • Nose: Metallic, pine, grapefruit, orange zest, tiny bit of sour bread.
  • Flavor: Bright and refreshing with plenty of hoppy bitterness that’s not overwhelming. Nice orange zest flavor.
  • Finish: Nice, long finish that isn’t too complex but filled with saliva-inducing hops. Not too dry with a bit of malty sweetness.
  • Notes: Surprisingly good. Very drinkable on a hot day. A great palate-cleanser with food but is interesting enough to drink alone.
  • Shilpi: “It’s an IPA so I don’t like it.”

#5 New Belgium Rampant Imperial IPA

New Belgium Rampant Imperial IPA

#5 New Belgium Rampant Imperial IPA

Type: Imperial India Pale Ale
Container: Bottle
ABV: 8.5%
Sticker Price: $12.99/12-pack of assorted flavors

I find I like a lot of what New Belgium puts out. This style is new to me: an Imperial IPA. I looked it up on BrewWiki: “Imperial IPA is a very hoppy, high alcohol strong ale approaching barley wine in strength, but without the maltiness of barley wine.” This one surely meets that definition. More than just an attempt to put more alcohol in their beer, there’s a lot to like here.

  • Rating (5=best): 4
  • Nose: Mango, peach, grass, floral and piney hops.
  • Flavor: Sweet malts, toasty flavors. Warm bitterness. Alcohol blends well.
  • Finish: Pleasant and smooth hop bitterness, wood, grapefruit. Lingers for a while.
  • Notes: Very smooth and pleasant IPA. While there are definitely plenty of hops, they are rounded out by a malty sweetness that makes this very enjoyable. I’d be happy if the alcohol volume was less just so I could drink more without feeling tipsy so quickly. Approach with caution!
  • Shilpi: She didn’t get to try this one. There were only two in the pack and I drank both of them.

#4 New Belgium Ranger IPA

New Belgium Ranger IPA


#4 New Belgium Ranger IPA

Type: India Pale Ale
Container: Bottle
ABV: 6.5%
Sticker Price: $12.99/12-pack of assorted flavors

I find I like a lot of what New Belgium puts out. If I were to get a big rubber stamp that said “IPA” and slapped on a beer, this one would be covered in ink. This is a very obvious, simple and strong expression of an IPA: not for the hop-haters. It has its place on a hot summer day but I wouldn’t drink it regularly.

  • Rating (5=best): 2.5
  • Nose: Big on hops. Floral, dandelions, little bit of evergreen.
  • Flavor: Soft but strong hoppy bitterness, grapefruit.
  • Finish: Bitter hops, not much else. Reminds me of biting down on a grapefruit seed. Plenty dry and long-lasting.
  • Notes: You have to be in the mood for this hop hurricane. Drink it too fast and not only will the high-alcohol content floor you but the bitterness might upset your stomach. BUT on a hot day at the beach or around the grill this would almost hit the spot.
  • Shilpi: With a face like a 2-year old tasting her first lemon: “I don’t like it. It’s very bitter and sour and all the things I hate about alcohol.”