Don’t Freak Out. There Aren’t Just Hops in This IPA: Thomas Creek Chocolate Orange IPA

oh no hop

Chocolate Orange IPA?

“BUT WHAT ABOUT THE HOPS!?” cried Americans, shaken to their core.

Don’t worry my patriotic brethren, there are hops. But there’s also that other stuff, like chocolate and orange, which is fun, if not only novel. Make no mistake, this is a pretty straight forward black IPA, but with a small dose of extra flavors because that’s just what you have to do these days when everyone has an IPA.

“BUT WHAT ABOUT THE HOP FLAVOR!?” the Americans shouted, confused and scared and angry.

Well, let’s get to it.

thomas_creek_chocolate_orange_ipa_black_beerThomas Creek Chocolate Orange IPA uses a lot of hops. Six in total, which include Citra, Magnum, Chinook, Centennial, Cascade and Amarillo. It’s a solid who’s who of today’s popular American varieties, with the exception of a sad and lonely Simcoe, which wasn’t invited to the party. This combination means good things for the name of this beer, as there is an unmistakable citrus smell to the IPA with nary a peep from orange peel that was used in the beer making process.

Rather, grapefruit and pine dominate and if I tried hard, I could imagine powdered chocolate somewhere at the end of each smell. Honestly, I couldn’t tell if the “orange” of the name ever came through or my imagination was letting me think it was there. Either way, hops rule the day.

This beer tastes like a lighter black IPA that’s almost minty up front with Honey Malt and Chocolate Wheat grains carrying the middle that leads to tinging bitterness on the finish. There’s definitely orange on the aftertaste, although the acidity of (what I assume) was a small dash of Black Patent malt and high alpha acid hops hold up strong against any sweetness added by the orange peel.

I know hops and malt are good, but drinking this I’m thinking are hops and malt and chocolate and orange good together? I’m not so sure.

I like black IPAs but this brew just seems like a long list of ingredients that amount to what is essentially a black IPA with a little extra dressing.

Chocolate Orange IPA stats:

  • Malts: Chocolate Wheat, Honey Malt, 2-Row and Black Patent
  • Hops: Citra, Magnum, Chinook, Centennial, Cascade, Amarillo
  • Adjuncts/Additives: Orange Peel
  • ABV: 7.5 percent
  • Brewery: Thomas Creek of Greenville, South Carolina
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