Back in 2008, a couple of South Australian beer lovers formed a brewery called McLaren Vale Beer Company and created themselves a brew called Vale Ale - an Australian Pale Ale. Subsequently, over the course of the 4 following years, the brewery has steadily grown from strength to strength and now boasts 4 core beers: Vale Ale 4.5%, Vale Dark 4.5%, Vale IPA 5.5% and Vale Dry 4.5%.
On my current voyage of enjoying various IPA's from around the world, McLaren's newest bottled beer - Vale IPA - made it's way into my beer fridge...
Quite frankly this is one of the nicest IPA's that I've had the pleasure of drinking. It is very well balanced and I could have easily sipped this all night long. I get the impression that the guys at McLaren Vale REALLY take their time in creating perfection. This drop certainly portrayed the fact that it's creation had been handled with extreme precision.
As you can see above, it pours a very inviting, cloudy, deep amber colour with a solid head that retains itself throughout.
IPA's obviously vary from brewery to brewery and every country seems to have it's own opinion on how an IPA should taste. In this particular instance, McLaren Vale have kept the IBU (bitterness) down to 41 which I believe helps this beer immensely (although if quizzed without knowing, I would've guessed the IBU was higher). Not being forced into a journey of bitterness really does enable the palate to embrace the other notable elements including the fruity/citrussy characters.
It's one for those of you that enjoy a blast of hops too with a combo of 3 hops varieties all from different countries - Galaxy (Australia), Nelson Sauvin (NZ) and Citra (USA).
Go get some ASAP!