Well we do get a few great beers from Green Flash Brewery here, and that’s a good thing! Very good stuff, especially today’s selection, Hop Head Red. Rating a 100 for style, 98 overall on Ratebeer.com (with nearly a thousand ratings).
I find it a bit odd that Beeradvocate.com rates it just 85, but there are certainly caveats…
First off, BA rates it as an American IPA, not an amber ale. There are bzillions of really great IPAs, so classifying this as an IPA will certainly give you a lower overall rating, especially given what I feel is a strong bias towards over-rating IPAs and RIS/American Doubles. If BA had listed this as an amber ale, it would certainly have done much better, and would likely be one of the top beers in the style. Oh well, the intricacies of beer website rating nuances and limitations could be a completely different blog.
So… let’s get to the beer!
Very nice looking. great head and lacing, red colored and clear. Foamy lightly tan head lasts all the way to the end of the brew.
Smell and body are quite good, lots of hops, piney grapefruit overtaking a strong malty base. The Amarillo dry hops are quite notable in the aroma.
The flavor is quite amply malty, this beer has a great grain bill and malt base, balanced perfectly with lots of pungent, tangy hop flavors. To me, this is more of an amber ale than an IPA, but there’s certainly overlap.
Body is smooth and medium, almost chewy with a mellow yet bitter finish. Overall it’s amongst my favorite reds of all time, right up there with Stone Levitation.
Others that we can get around here are their double stout and their West Coast IPA, both delicious! I’m anxious to try more from Green Flash in the future.
Seriously though, what do you expect from a San Diego brewery? Excellence!