Chasing the horned jackrabbit
A Review of Jackalope IPA by Chama River Brewing Co.
Posted on 1/15/2014 by Chops
One of the most exciting aspects of craft beer comes in the form of travel. You may very well live in a region that is chock full of high quality local craft beer. I certainly do as a resident of Durham, North Carolina. But in order to fully appreciate your regular suds, you must venture outside of your comfort zone. An adventurous spirit is an integral part of any passion, craft beer included.

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Albuquerque, New Mexico. I didn't know very much about the city's craft beer scene before my visit, but I was determined to change that. After some personal research, I settled on a handful of breweries that I just had to visit, one of which was the Chama River Brewing Company. They are a local favorite and have a crop of awards under their belt, including several medals from the Great American Beer Festival. Seemed like the perfect place to start, so I sat down at the bar and requested their flagship. With that, my very first Albuquerque craft beer dance was with Chama River's Jackalope IPA.

In the glass, this beer had a warm golden orange coloration that is crystal clear. It came with a frothy white head that had really nice retention. On the nose, I was slapped with a big blast of piney goodness. Lurking underneath were hints of caramel and tropical citrus. So that's how it's going to be. Albuquerque came out swinging and my nostrils stood at attention. I could almost here O-Ren Ishii whispering in my ear, ''You didn't think it was gonna be that easy, did you?''

Oddly enough, this beer is only moderately aggressive. The Jackalope flexed its muscles early on, but then smiled and extended a welcoming hand. The beer had a lighter body and the hops had an airy sting, which I found to be strangely refreshing. The pine resin retained its status as dominant trait, which was complimented by notes of grapefruit, apricots, pineapple, caramel, and an earthy herbal flare. The beer finished dry and exited with a long lasting piney aftertaste.

Overall, Chama River's Jackalope IPA was a deliciously focused brew. It had lots of great flavor and did not pretend to be anything more than a solid American IPA. Not too sweet, not too bitter, not too weak, not too strong. As Goldilocks would say, it was just right. This is a beer that I can easily recommend to all beer fans. Hop heads and seasoned drinkers will enjoy this brew as a sturdy example of the style. Jackalope's moderate aggression and refreshing nature also make it a win for novices. I couldn't be happier with my first Albuquerque brew and I cannot thank Chama River enough for the experience. I imagine I will be chasing many horned jackrabbits before I depart.

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Jackalope IPA by Chama River Brewing Co.
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