Red Chair IPA

Red Chair IPARed Chair IPA is the latest in Deschutes Brewery‘s Bond Street Series, which along with Hop Trip and Hop Henge, rounds out a specialty offering of beers that “highlights a handful of our hop-forward beers that began at ‘the pub.’ ”

Red Chair came to me the other day along with a bottle of Mirror Mirror. I believe it was brewed (originally) to serve on tap up at our local ski resort, Mt. Bachelor, to commemorate its 50th anniversary, but proved popular enough to make it into the bottle. From Deschutes’ description:

Red Chair IPA is named after the oldest operating lift at Mt. Bachelor, a classic old school double that locals flock to on fresh powder mornings. This beer has been wildly popular with our pub regulars, who always seem to know when we have hit on something special.

…Red Chair is still a hop forward ale, but not in the way many have gotten used to. You will find no cloying, mouth puckering bitterness here. In its place a straight up succulent citrus punch to the nose.

At 6.4% this bucks the trend of American craft brewers releasing big high-alcohol monsters of beer but that’s a good thing.

Appearance: Clear bright copper with a nice pileup of lacy foam.

Smell: Bready and hoppy; smells like the new strain of hops Deschutes has been experimenting with (Hop Henge): floral and citrus and a touch catty. Not overwhelming though and it has a nice sweet current beneath the hops.

Taste: Bright and green hops with resin and stem (twiggy) flavors coming out. True to the description, there’s not a lot of bitterness, though. Sticky with a mellow caramel toastiness that’s both warming and crisp.

Mouthfeel: Pleasantly prickly and medium-bodied with a sticky, lingering presence.

Overall: Very approachable and fun to drink; bucking the trend of big special bombers and proof that you don’t need ’em—a solid IPA.

On BeerAdvocate, it’s garnered 8 reviews so far for an overall score of B+. On RateBeer, it scores 3.41 out of 5 and is in their 62nd percentile.