I see a ninja, I buy the ninja. Simple as that really. Here is another review of another ninja series beer from Pipeworks, this time it is showcasing Centennial hops. Centennial comes in at 9.5% ABV with no IBU listed.
Appearance: Hazy copper/amber color with a 1 finger head and plenty of sticky lacing down the glass.
Nose: Pretty fresh hop smell to it, when I drank this and made my notes this beer was bottled only 5 days before can’t get much fresher than that! Ripe tropical fruit, grapefruit, honey, pine and resin with some malt on the nose. Smells very sticky.
Taste/Mouth: Follows the nose with pine and resin notes up front with some grassy, caramel and honey as well. Good amount of malt in the taste, maybe more noticeable than the hop flavor of the beer. A little hot with the 9.5%, I wish the alcohol was turned down a little bit and the characters of the hop flavors could come out a bit more. This beer is also pretty brutal on your palate, crushing bitterness.
Price/Availability: Rotating with the other Ninjas as hops become available. The price is around $11.
Overall: A lower tier Ninja here, love that they always locally source the hops for the Ninja series beers. Unfortunately I think they could have better showcased Centennial in this one, not a lot of flavor from the hop, more just crushing bitterness and a little too hot and malty for me. I much prefer some of the other Ninjas to this one. I do hold all of them to high standards because I know how good they could be!
Michigan based brewery Founder’s is definitely among the US elite craft breweries and has one of the most diverse catalogs of beer releases especially for a brewery its size. My next review is of one of their year round, flagship offerings Centennial IPA. While it does not specify on the bottle or on the Founder’s website you would assume this is an IPA hopped with nothing but Centennial hops. I have heard this is not completely true and that there are some other hops thrown in such as Cascade. If this is true or not I am not entirely sure but I assume the majority of the hops added to the brew and dry hop are Centennial or why would they name it after that specific hop. Centennial comes in at 7.2% ABV and 65 IBUs.
Appearance: Poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass. Copper color with a small less than 1 finger head. This beer is unfiltered and is pretty damn hazy which I like. It is kind of dark for an IPA though in my opinion and looks closer to an amber. Almost looks like a glass of iced tea.
Nose: Pretty dank nose smells of piney, earthy and lemon citrus. You get some malt sweetness on the nose too. It overwhelmingly smells of hop nuggets though.
Taste: Earthy and piney hoppiness carries over from the nose upfront with a nice wave of dry hop bitterness. Pretty nice balance with a good backing of malt sweetness. The all centennial (and maybe some of its little brother cascade) make for a really nice taste and mouth on this beer.
Availability/Price: Very available around the country and has a decent price tag. I like that it is now available in cans as that is definitely my preferred vessel for an IPA to be packaged.
Overall: This is a very enjoyable IPA from Founders, it is also very widely available which is nice. Is it the absolute best available, I don’t think so but it is definitely in the discussion for best readily available IPAs and some people could argue it is the best. I definitely always keep this one in the back of my mind when looking for a great fresh IPA to drink.