Aroma: A moderate to moderately high hop aroma of floral, earthy or fruity nature is typical, although the intensity of hop
character is usually lower than American versions. A moderate caramel-like or toasty malt presence is common. Low to
moderate fruitiness, either from esters or hops, can be present.
Appearance: Color ranges from golden amber to light copper, but most are pale to medium amber with an orange-ish tint.
Should be clear, although unfiltered dry-hopped versions may be a bit hazy. Good head stand with off-white color should
Flavor: Hop flavor is medium to high, with a moderate to assertive hop bitterness. The hop flavor should be similar to the
aroma (floral, earthy, fruity, and/or slightly grassy). Malt flavor should be medium-low to medium-high, but should be
noticeable, pleasant, and support the hop aspect. The malt should show an English character and be somewhat bready,
biscuit-like, toasty, toffee-like and/or caramelly. Despite the substantial hop character typical of these beers, sufficient malt
flavor, body and complexity to support the hops will provide the best balance. Very low levels of diacetyl are acceptable,
and fruitiness from the fermentation or hops adds to the overall complexity. Finish is medium to dry, and bitterness may
linger into the aftertaste but should not be harsh. If high sulfate water is used, a distinctively minerally, dry finish, some
sulfur flavor, and a lingering bitterness are usually present. Some clean alcohol flavor can be noted in stronger versions.
History: Brewed to survive the voyage from England to India. The temperature extremes and rolling of the seas resulted in a
highly attenuated beer upon arrival. English pale ales were derived from India Pale Ales.
Comments: A pale ale brewed to an increased gravity and hop rate. Modern versions of English IPAs generally pale in comparison (pun intended) to their ancestors. The term “IPA” is loosely applied in commercial English beers today, and has
been (incorrectly) used in beers below 4% ABV. Generally will have more finish hops and less fruitiness and/or caramel than
English pale ales and bitters. Fresher versions will obviously have a more significant finishing hop character.
Commercial Examples: Meantime India Pale Ale, Freeminer Trafalgar IPA, Fuller’s IPA, Ridgeway Bad Elf, Summit India
Pale Ale, Samuel Smith’s India Ale, Hampshire Pride of Romsey IPA, Burton Bridge Empire IPA,Middle Ages ImPailed Ale,
Goose Island IPA, Brooklyn East India Pale Ale
What The Beersluts have to say:
Chameleon Village IPA; lovely IPA, one for the real hop-heads!
The Skulls Banshee IPA; definitely hopsy but very grassy and not much malt or caramel.