[Via Paste/Jim Vorel] "When you’re aware of the existence of a well-liked beer for many years before you ever get a chance to try it, the end result rarely lives up to your expectations. How many of us have been through this exact scenario, hearing about a specific beer for years and then finally trying it, only to find that time and the industry have left it behind? And so, despite the fact that Topcutter has been a well-liked IPA for a long time, I went into tasting it with fairly even expectations.
Those expectations were immediately left behind. This is a superb, brilliantly hoppy IPA, and one of the best examples of the pre-NE-IPA generation of beers present at the entire festival—thanks to the Washington Brewers Guild booth for stocking it! Intensely resinous and citrus-forward, Topcutter attacks the palate with waves of sticky pine and grapefruit/lemon citrus. Hints of juicy sweetness are there, but this is still a dry, refreshing IPA, which is one of the aspects that now differentiate it from the soft and sweet generation of NE-IPAs that are now getting so much attention with fuller bodied, “chewier” beers. This, on the other hand, is devastatingly clean and drinkable—it reminds me of nothing so much as one of our other blind tasting winners, White Rajah IPA from the perpetually underrated The Brew Kettle in Strongsville, OH. It’s a near-perfect “everyday IPA” that I can’t imagine I would ever get tired of drinking."
Posted October 10, 2017