I've never heard of San Diego, California's Rough Draft Brewing until just now, when I picked up a bottle of their Southern Triangle IPA. Aside from Boulevard and the less-than-ethical it's been a long time since there were new American beers at the local LC. With a name like Rough Draft, you would almost think that the purchasers over at the LC brought it in just for me, as it would fit in with my First Draft column at the Brandon Sun.
Their Southern Triangle IPA is their first beer available here, and I mistakenly keep calling it Southern Tier IPA. Yikes.
Appearance: Southern Triangle pours like any normal West Coast India Pale Ale, it's a vibrant caramel-honey look with a minimal amount of carbonation, fairly clear and filtered, nice amount of thick creamy beige head on top that gently diminishes, leaving a nice crisp lacing on the side of the beer glass.
Aroma: A tad nutty, which is something I don't generally like in IPAs - but thankfully it's minimal at best. Notes of alfalfa, LOTS of alfalfa, notes of lightly sweet caramel malt, hint of tropical fruits including mango, pineapple and a smidge of grapefruit. Not that bitter for it being an IPA out of San Diego of all places.
Taste: The hops are more present in the taste: bit of a grassiness meets alfalfa to it. More of a sweet forward IPA with tropical notes of mango and pineapple popping up here again. Bit of caramel and a light tinny bitter aftertaste that lingers for a moment.
Overall Thoughts: I appreciate the tropical sweetness, but at nearly $7.00/bottle and it being from San Diego - I would expect it to be more of a hop bomb rather than a tropical sensation. It just lacks bitterness for me. The beer uses a combination of Nelson Sauvin, Moteuka and Galaxy hops, which is what explains for it having more of a tropical vibe to it. Very easy to drink and 6.5% ABV.