New Belgium Ranger IPA: 6.5% abv
Hate to drop the bomb now, but this one…hard to believe it’s 6.5%. It’s hard to explain how it costs what it does, or how it’s considered an IPA, and it’s hard to believe that this is what we’re writing review 99 on. Let me go out of my way to say New Belgium has been the rage of the town since it made it into Michigan, so we wanted to review one and let people know what we thought. Unfortunately, we picked the wrong one. This doesn’t hit any of the right buttons. But I’ll let you see for yourself.
The nose on this beer is the best part, producing some fruity aromas of lemon, apple, pineapple and tangerine. The bitter notes of pine and hops come through as well, complemented by some dark earthy and floral notes, but they’re counteracted by some sugary nose as well. That sounds like a wonderful start, right? Well it is, like a plane catching speed down a runway. But then there is the getting off the ground. So the arrival? Lemon rind…and water…that’s all we got. And we twisted the rag on this one. That’s it.
The taste has that key component again: water. That isn’t a great tasting note for an IPA. So what else is there? There is some light, kind of bland pine to it, light apple and lemon fruitiness, and slight bitterness. Don’t look further…sorry. The finish is good. Wait, no it’s not. Besides water, you’ll get slight grapefruit and hops. And not the kind of grapefruit and hops you would get from a rich, powerful Stone Guardian. The kind you’d get from a New Belgium Ranger. Don’t. Just don’t.