Emphatically smacking my MacBook keys like Angela Lansbury writing a mystery novel on an old black typewriter, I’m ready to investigate Noble’s latest 16-ounce can release and solve this alleged hop crime. Thankfully, cracking the case on a single-hop triple IPA is more like writing a jaywalking ticket than solving a murder mystery–the hardest part is finding a lead on a few cans for review.
Being Noble’s second can release, Nelson, She Wrote Triple IPA went on sale at 2 p.m. Saturday and completely sold out by 8. After winning gold and bronze for IPA and Double IPA at World Beer Cup, it’s always fun to see what Evan Price and his merry band of giants come up with when it comes to creating hoppy beverages.
Perhaps the world’s best-known Triple IPA is Russian River Brewing’s Pliny The Younger, and at only 10.2 percent ABV I’ve always considered it a “hop wine” of sorts, where a skimpy malt backbone holds a bale of hops on a twiggy pedestal like a bikini on a hippo. Nelson, She Wrote, at 12.3 percent ABV, reminds me quite a bit of Russian River’s Younger with different hops, almost akin to a wine with a different grape varietal. Being single hopped with New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops, the nose paints a realistic portrait of what that varietal is all about.
Still solving the crime, my bloodhound-sized nose easily picks out overripe passion fruit as the dominant aroma. Tangerine peels, freshly-squeezed grapefruit, and some pineapple upside-down cake pop out as the beer warms. For such a beer, the resinous hop flavors go down like brut-hop champagne: completely dry, with a touch of sharpness and a bit of warmth. This triple IPA is actually inviting, convivial, and oh so choice.
Fresh canned IPA’s available only at the brewery aren’t a fad that will die soon. Although some see it as hype, quality IPA brewers see it as a way to release fresh beers as they intend to taste. By canning it and releasing it fresh, the brewer can ensure the perishable flavors and aromas are what they intended. Imagine if the beer was canned, sent to a distributor, checked into a warehouse, purchased by a retailer, shipped again, then sat on a liquor store shelf. IPA changes dramatically in that time frame and this release method fixes all that. Sure breweries can fill 64-ounce growlers from the source, but freshness takes an immediate dip after the first pour. A four pack of cans is the same amount of beer as a growler, however a four-pack of cans can be plucked at will, with full assurance of quality with the remaining vessels. If you were to drink 16 ounces off of a growler and let the rest sit for a day, oxidation and degassing of aroma would occur, making your beer a mere shadow of its former self, which is the real “hop crime.”
Noble plans on regular canned IPA releases throughout the coming months. Stay tuned to Noble’s website for more details.
1621 S. Sinclair St., Suite B, Anaheim, noblealeworks.com