Modern Times "Critical Band" IPA Review

And now, the moment I've been waiting for; time to review some IPAs, my personal beer-style of choice. 

"Critical Band" IPA is another great offering from Modern Times, and so far, in my book, these guys can do no wrong. This New England style IPA (thanks goes to craftbeer.com for providing an exact definition) is a good one, and I've been drinking New England style brews ever since they became "the thing" to brew and drink. Usually I am not one for beer trends (besides just being generally into trying new styles), but these offerings from Modern Times are hitting my palate just right. I'm trying to get all the IPAs in my belly while I can, because as every friggin character on Game Of Thrones says, "Winter is coming". In fact, winter is already here, and soon it's all going to be porters, stouts and dark, viscous beverages. Not that it's a bad thing, but I always miss those tasty hops during the cold winter months.

Alright, enough out of me! Let's get on with the review.

The Color:

Pours hazy (obviously), orange and cloudy with as strong, white foam that leaves a beautiful lacing on the glass. You could almost mistake this ale for a hef if a waitress was strolling by with a tray full of them.

The Nose:

Tropical fruit, a lot of pineapple, with some mango notes thrown in for good measure. Some varied citrus is in there as well, although not as much as the Spaceship Earth pale, calling to mind a ripe grapefruit. This bad-boy definitely has a juicy, tropical fruit, hoppy scent. I kinda want a candle made out of this smell.



The Body & The Flavor:

A nice, medium bodied ale, this brew has a strong finish, the bitterness carries all the way through, and the pineapple and citrus/hop combo is more bitter than most NE styles in general. Now, keep in mind that the tallboy can this tasty brew arrived in doesn't actually say "NE" on it, but its hazy, restrained bitterness definitely points to one. The beer has a bit of a heavy mouth-feel, and while I personally would have preferred it to be a little lighter, it isn't cloying by any means. Each sip is a mini-explosion of juicy, tropical fruit and hop flavor that keeps you coming back until all of sudden, you're looking at an empty glass and glancing around for the bartender. The malts wrap the whole thing up and take it on home, right into your belly where this beer belongs.

Hop Varietals: Denali, Ekuanot, Citra, and Centennial 

Malt Varietals: Two Row, Maris Otter, Wheat Malt, Golden Naked Oats

A.B.V.: 6.7

IBU: 75

Final Gravity: 1.012


Summary

This is a great NE style IPA. The fruit is there but it doesn't knock you down and the bitterness works its way straight through, leaving you eager for another sip so you can suss out the complexities. This is a great beer, especially if you're looking for something a little different than your average IPA.


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