Boundary Bay Brewing Company is a Brewpub out of Bellingham, Washington that was recognized as the nations largest brewpub in 2008 by the Brewers Association. They strive to brew classic styles but say they also like the “push the envelope” with some beers such as the IPA I have before me. They only bottle a few of their beers so I am happy to have the opportunity to sample this brew.
Pours a dark amber hue that becomes a hazy orange hue when brought to light. Two fingers of bright white head are produced and stay for many minutes leaving a few millimeters of residual head and a decent amount of lacing. Smells of bright hops, a good deal of orange esters likely from Amarillo Hops, passion fruit follows further encouraging my belief. Gentle earthiness and a hint of alcohol. Malt flavors are very forward and robust, followed by solid fruity hops, with orange and passion fruit shining through once again. Bitterness hits you mid palate and continues through the finish. As it warms additional esters of lemon and grapefruit come into play creating a nicely balanced yet American influenced India Pale Ale. A nice ale with roots in the English approach to the style but stepped up with American hops and fruity gusto. With a medium body and a reasonably clean mouthfeel this 6.4% ABV brew will be quite approachable to most. I encourage consumption of most beers at just a bit colder than room temperature with one of the few exceptions being IPAs due to the astringency that is sometimes exposed in hop esters. With this malt forward IPA, like many Imperial IPAs I highly suggest letting it warm for 10 minutes or more to experience how nicely the malty esters continue to evolve and allow the caramel notes to shine providing nice diversity and even more enjoyable contrast with the fruity hops. Or just drink it slowly like I have, it comes in 22oz bottles after all. If you enjoy malty IPAs but are looking for something more Americanized this is the brew for you. With enough bitterness to fit the style and even appease most of us state side, but enough malt presence to bring solid balance this is unquestionably a very well rounded beer. If they brew the rest of their beer as well as this IPA I would love to see more from Boundary Bay. Give it a shot and ride your bike.