Friday, March 6, 2015

RavenBeer Tell Tale Heart IPA (6/10)

The set of beers I received this Christmas from my sister included RavenBeer's Tell Tale Heart IPA.  This American IPA was brewed for RavenBeer by Baltimore Washington Beer Works.  It's not yet available in Ohio, so consider this a preview of the beer should it someday grace our shelves.

It's worth mentioning that I generally won't be reviewing IPAs on this site.  That's because I dislike the IPA and Pale Ale style in general.  An IPA that a certified beer judge might rank in the top ten of the world would probably get a very low rating from me. That's not fair to the brewery.

Tell Tale Heart IPA pours a bright, clear gold/amber color with thin white head that lasts a minute or so.  Lacing in the glass is minimal and spotty.

The aroma of Tell Tale Heart is that of grapefruit, probably from the Chinook hops in it.  The beer also features Bravo, Simcoe, and Citra hops.  The aroma is definitely strong with hops, as you'd expect for an IPA, but it's not terribly intense or overpowering.

The flavor of the beer starts malty, even mildly sweet.  Then the grapefruit flavor swells up, followed by a significant bitterness from the other three hops varieties.  The finish is decidedly hoppy and bitter.  There is no question that this is an IPA when you drink it.  On the other hand, compared to a number of IPAs I've tried over the years, this is less-intense and more palatable.  Don't get me wrong... There are at least two dozen other beers I'd rather have than this one, but given the choice between this IPA and many others I've had, this one would have to be in the top 3.  It's got all the flavors I would expect from an IPA (i.e., plenty of hops bitterness) without being overwhelming.

Beer Advocate gives it an 86 or "very good" rating.  Rate Beer gives it a 91 overall.  My own rating puts this solidly at a 6 out of 10.  That sounds like a poor rating at first blush, but realize that I rate beers based on the "spectrum" of beers available.  For me, and for an IPA, this is a high rating.

Unfortunately, this beer is unavailable in Ohio.  You'll need to travel to Maryland or one of the states where it's distributed to purchase it.

It's a 7.3% alcohol by volume beer, and clocks in at 50 IBUs.

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