Last week, the good folks at Five Horses Tavern in Somerville, MA offered Mayflower IPA out of its cask pump, which is the best way to enjoy an IPA, out of a cask at cellar temperature. This week, the Tavern changed the cask to another fine local IPA, the Quarter Mile IPA from Blue Hills Brewery in Canton, MA, a rich Double IPA with a flavor so refined that it needs to be served in a stemmed tulip glass, like a fine wine.
A quick whiff of the burnt orange colored brew's smooth head yields a powerful hoppy punch, thanks to the nearly two pounds of hops per barrel put into the beer. Complemented by a solid citrus backbone and an abundance of 2-row malt, it was an intriguing aroma that gave hint to a strong brew.
The taste more than backed up the aroma, as the lemon and hop notes were able to make themselves known in the taste. Having the beer at cellar temperature certainly helps the flavors of the IPA, and creates the 8% ABV punch the beer is proud to boast. It is a very bitter beer, maybe a little too bitter for some tastes. After all, it's claim to importance is a double helping of hops, which makes it a Double IPA rather just a simple IPA. Therefore, its a sipping beer that is meant to be enjoyed over a considerable length of time, but that's good, because it means savoring it.
For IPA fans, its worth savoring (and the $7.75 price tag at the Tavern for 12 oz.), and the hoppiness is perfect for a muggy June afternoon. Blue Hills Brewery does a great job with great ingredients, and it's another great example of beer best served out of a cask.