Slow Ride Session IPA
New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, Colo.
Not every occasion calls for a full-bodied IPA. Sometimes, you want the flavor of an IPA without the weight (and responsibility) of a higher alcohol content. That’s why many breweries are debutting new session IPAs, and one of the newest is Slow Ride from Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing. The beer pours a bright golden color with some carbonation and a one-finger white head that quickly dissipates into a foamy white slick on the surface of the beer, leaving some bubbles sticking to the side of the glass. The first whiff of the beer shows a heavy spruce or pine aromas with some hints of tropical fruits. Secondary smells definitely bring out the tropical aromas, likely a reflection of the Mosaic hops, which have a distinct characteristic. The nose is slight and not overpowering. At first sip, Slow Ride starts slightly grassy with some piney notes from the nose carrying over. Then the Mosaic hops take over, with an almost mango aftertaste that doesn’t stick around long. The hop bitterness leans more toward the juicy, floral flavors, again thanks to the use of Mosaic hops. As a low-alcohol session beer, it’s fairly light-bodied that foregoes the sticky hop bitterness of most IPAs in favor of a cleaner mouthfeel. This example is also fairly dry, with a crisp bitterness to the finish. Slow Ride is a highly crushable session beer. It leans more toward the tropical fruit hops than most, and that’s a welcome addition to the realm of session beers. While IPAs are still preferable for most drinkers, this beer will do when you’re looking for something lighter.