Banded Peak Brewing - Southern Aspect N.W. India Pale Ale

Banded Peak Brewing is a fairly newish brewery out of Calgary, in a scene that's absolutely exploding with what seems to be a new brewery per week. Today I'm checking out their Southern Aspect North West IPA. Southern Aspect is brewed with Mosaic and Ekuanot hops and Pale, Wheat and Crystal malts. 7.1% ABV, 70 IBU.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, orangey and amber body with a light amount of carbonation taking place in the body and a good amount of off-white head on top. There's a good deal of lacing on the side of the glass as well.

Aroma: Fairly sweet and tropical with notes of pineapple, grapefruit, lemon and a moderate amount of a caramel malt presence. Light to moderately bitter with it giving off a bit of pine and spruce and a light amount of leafiness.

Taste: My initial thought was that this seems a bit creamy, but as I sample it a bit more, it's definitely more dry and not really creamy. There's a bit of a woody and pine bitterness popping up front, followed by a moderate sweetness that I got in the aroma - pineapple, grapefruit and lemon. There's a hint of a flavour that reminds me of Earl Grey tea as well instead of the caramel sweetness I got in the aroma.

Overall Thoughts: A lot of West Coast IPAs I've had over the years were much more bitter up front with a bit of a grapefruit kick to it, but over time the trend has turned to more of a tropical fruitiness with a mild bitterness. I'm someone who absolutely loved having a hop bomb so I'm a bit sad that everything's moved to be more tropical.. but that's a story for another time. This one has a nice tropical sweetness, a bit of a woodiness, light to moderate hop bitterness. It's decent but I wish the tropical notes or the hop bitterness would have been turned up more.

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