Long Hammer IPA

Long Hammer IPAFinally, the official review for the Long Hammer IPA samples I received last week. First, some stats on the beer itself. Just to recap, Long Hammer is brewed by Redhook, a relaunch of their IPA with a new name and packaging.

  • Grain Variety: 2-row Klages, Munich and Crystal
  • Hop Variety: Northern Brewer, Willamette, Cascade
  • Flavor Profile: Aggressively hopped, dry and crisp finish
  • Color: Brass (8.4 SRM)
  • Bitterness Units: 38.5 IBU
  • Alcohol % Weight: 5.10
  • Alcohol % Volume: 6.51
  • Original Gravity: 1.05773
  • Calories / 12 oz.: 186
  • Carbohydrates / 12 oz.: 12.23 g

Appearance: A nice golden color—like a gold coin—and very clear. A tad orange. Fluffy off-white head.

Smell: Nice sweet grapefruit and slightly toasty malt. Sweet and just a tad cloying.

Taste: Nice big Northwest hops right up front—herbal and floral and bitter, but clean. Malt is on the light side, toasted without burnt character, grainy. Has a bit of that nice sweet character rolling around that I detected on the nose.

Mouthfeel: On the thin side of medium-bodied. It has a nice residual hop bitterness and is refreshing—there’s a bit of a bite to it from that.

Overall: Pretty drinkable, but I think it’s a bit light for an IPA. Actually I was surprised that the IBUs are only 38.5, because the standard range for an IPA is 40-60 IBUs. (Interesting side note: Korzonas in his Homebrewing Vol. 1 indicates that the true, original English IPA style is much hoppier—80-100+ IBUs. Wow.) Aside from this IPA discrepancy, I think it’s a technically well-done beer and is summertime-drinkable.

On BeerAdvocate, they are not as kind: it scores 77 out of 100 with only 67% of reviewers giving it a thumbs up. On RateBeer it’s a similar story: 2.9 out of 5, only in their 36th percentile. It seems a fair number of the reviewers are dinging it over the IPA question that I raised.