As we all look forward to a mercifully cooler fall, here’s a beer supposedly tailor-made for the next season. Sierra Nevada’s Flipside Red IPA was introduced in 2013 as a seasonal, cooler-weather contrast to the brighter, summery beers that comprise the brewery’s core line-up. It leans heavy on the tropical fruit and citrus from a blend of Simcoe, Citra, and Centennial hops while a mix of pale, caramel, and chocolate malts make it look pretty in a glass (and I’m sure impart other characteristics, as well). It’s like 100 degrees outside where I live, so let’s hope this thing is a cool, early fall evening in a bottle. Let’s dig in!
It’s definitely pretty in the glass, pouring a dark tarnished copper with a fluffy caramel-tinged head. The nose is fruity for a darker beer with pulpy citrus, lemon peel, and bready malts. The palate is crisp and clean, lighter than I was expecting and definitely drinkable in the waning days of a smoldering summer. The fruit is minimal, with only a touch of resin and watery pineapple juice evident. There are far more caramel and baking chocolate notes which seem to beg for a creamier mouthfeel. A bit of hoppy bitterness on the finish is a departure from other Sierra Nevada IPAs that hit hard and fast up front with the hops. All in all, it’s a nicely balanced, if somewhat unexciting, autumn brew.
B+ / $14 per six-pack / sierranevada.com