New IPA reviews | Drink | Salt Lake City Weekly

New IPA reviews 

Saltfire and Red Rock serve up fruity hop flavors

Pin It
  • Mike Riedel

Saltfire - Series of Singularities (Azacca): This single-hop IPA pours an unfiltered brassy color with two-to-three fingers of foamy head—visibly effervescent in the body, with decent lacing. The aroma displays a solid malt presence, with equal measures of tropical and piney/weedy hop. There's very little citrus, and just a hint of alcohol detected.

The caramel malt sweetness carries over to the palate and is the first flavor on the tip of the tongue, but as the brew crosses over to the mid-palate, the hops arrive in fruity fashion. However, those fruits are a little muddled; citrus, tropical, and white stone fruit flavors are all there, but are difficult to really pick out. Grapefruit, pineapple, and apricot might be separated and discerned, but not to any strong degree. As the brew finishes, the danker flavors arrive, more weedy than resiny/piney. The 7.3 percent booze detected on the nose isn't really present on the palate, but the balance of malt and bitterness is very well done. The brew is essentially down the middle medium in body, relatively light on carbonation compared with its appearance and fairly drinkable.

Verdict: The IPA market is crowded, and this one doesn't do much to distinguish itself, other than providing as "balanced" a delivery as any IPA I've had. It does have plenty of enjoyable malt presence, offset by a bitter, but not hop-burned, IBU presence. If the fruit flavors were more discernible as individual fruits rather than "categories" of fruitiness, this would be a brighter star for me. Still, a good brew.

Red Rock - Monkey Mind: It fits the bill as described on the label: juicy and hazy, a nice beer for a lazy January afternoon. Beginning with the look, it has a somewhat medium tint of orange color, much like orange juice, with a pillowy foam that thins out to a lingering head. Like all Red Rock beers, this one retains a beautiful lacing on the glass. This beer is not the most aromatic, offering only very faint smells like citrus and slight hint of pine. It is, however, very big on the tropical pineapple and dankness, with maybe a little bit of floral blossom.

Moving on to taste, the first impression of this beer is "juice box," so they pretty much accomplished what this beer is all about. At the front, you get a pleasant and balanced pineapple and citrus quality, with the hops dankness and bitterness following along. The middle and finish are consistent all the way throughout the sip, as the flavors mend into a semi-bitter aftertaste. It doesn't clean up on the palate; there's lingering sweetness and very little alcohol—rich and decadent, but at the same time light. The bitterness is there, but it's nowhere close to a standard American IPA.

The mouthfeel is the most redeeming quality about this beer. It's thick, creamy and inviting. I love the medium body, which is almost shake-like with low to medium carbonation—in other words, exactly what they put on the label.

Verdict: I've got to hand it to Red Rock, Monkey Mind doesn't disappoint. For a session-style of IPA, this is a pretty good tasting and enjoyable brew, one that I think would be a great way to turn someone on to IPAs if they've never had one.

Red Rock has an exclusivity arrangement going with Harmons Grocery Stores, so this will be your only option to get this 16-ouncer to your home; Red Rock's restaurants will have it as well. Some of your better craft beer pubs may pick up the Azacca, but these 16-ounce cans are definitely available at Saltfire to enjoy there, or to go. As always, cheers!

Pin It


More by Mike Riedel

Latest in Drink

© 2023 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation