Review: Long Hammer IPA, Redhook

Long Hammer IPA
Redhook Ale Brewery — Woodinville, WA

  • Style:  IPA
  • Bitterness:  44 IBU
  • ABV: 6.2%
  • Malts:  Not specified
  • Hops:   Not specified
  • Sampled: 12 oz. can  (full disclosure: sample provided by brewery)

Description: "The generous addition of hops both during and at the end of the fermentation process (dry-hopping) gives our India Pale Ale its characteristic bitterness and piney citrus aroma and flavor.  The medium body, crisp finish, and moderate alcohol and IBU levels makes this one of America’s most drinkable and best-selling IPAs." — Redhook Ale Brewery 

Random thoughts:  Redhook just announced the release of Long Hammer in cans. This beer has been brewed since 1984. I haven't tasted in a long time so I'm glad I'm getting the chance to revisit it.

The tasting:  Bright golden orange in color, crystal clear, with a white head that dissipates slowly. Aroma of citrus and piney hops with caramel malt. Very simple and straightforward, but quite nice. Flavor mirrors the aroma with the addition of coriander and light notes of musty yeast. Bitterness is light (for an IPA) and a touch of alcohol is noticeable in the finish. Long Hammer IPA is light to medium bodied, moderately carbonated and finishes with light grapefruit hop bitterness.

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again!  Back in the days of big hair, 44 IBUs might have placed Long Hammer in the category of in-your-face beers. Nearly 30 years after its inception, it's at the low end of IPA style guidelines for bitterness. It's hoppy, but if you're looking for a hop bomb, you'd be best served looking elsewhere. If you've never tasted an IPA, this would be good place to start. Long Hammer is widely available in the Northwest. Now that it's in available in cans, it's an even better option for outdoor adventures.

Have you tried Long Hammer? What's your favorite canned IPA?

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  1. We had a pitcher of this stuff after racquetball last night. Everyone voted for something else when it was time for a second pitcher. It is truly at the low end of the scale for an IPA. I remember this beer having a bit more pizzazz at one time...the recipe may have changed or, more likely, my palette has.

  2. Yeah, I definitely agree it's on the low end of the bitterness spectrum for an IPA. Some might even consider it to be a Pale. My preferences, as of late, have steered me away from ultra hoppy beers. I'll go back to them eventually.

  3. Yep, it's that cold can of easy drinking and fairly priced ale that can be passed around at the campfire, or fishing excursion, and no one would complain except for maybe those that are hooked on Coors Light.

  4. Boring, like the bud lite of ipa

  5. Not bad, more pine notes than orange peel or coriander; something im unaccustomed to in my go to craft IPA (Snake Handler by Good People). Very easyily drinkable, the best beginners IPA. Better than Samuel Adams, but not quite a craft beer. Busch does own 32% so....


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