Welcome to the Drink in the Sights American IPA from Devils Backbone Brewing Company Beer Review.
American IPA from Devils Backbone Brewing Company has been available in most Wetherspoon's bars for the last few years but up until now I've avoiding drinking it preferring instead to go for their real ale selection. However once I found it going cheap in bottle form I decided it was time to give American IPA a try. Amusingly for all the talk of the mountains of Virginia on the label American IPA is actually brewed in Wolverhampton by Marston's so this is unlikely to score highly for authenticity. Don't worry though I wont hold this against the beer as ultimately if it tastes good who cares where it came from?
American IPA from Devils Backbone comes in quite a cool 500ml bottle featuring a stag, on a waterfall, in a forest, presumably in the Virginia Mountains, so just try and forget that it's brewed in the Midlands by a very English brewery. The description on the bottle bangs on more about Virginia 'we have lots of American stags and bold hoppy, citrusy IPAs.' As if we don't have enough citrus IPAs here already!! The beer has a fairly substantial 5.2% alcohol content making it one of the stronger offering you're likely to find in a Wetherspoon's.
American IPA pours reasonably well. The clear gold body is topped up with a decent white head which settles down to lacing after a few minutes. The aroma is not surprisingly full of citrus hops so I expect the flavour will have a bit of a twang to it. To be honest this has all the usual signs of a bog standard citrus based IPA from America or anywhere else for that matter. The texture of the beer isn't as light and refreshing as I'd expected, it's still lighter than an English bitter, but not as much as a really light IPA.
The beers taste is slightly more bitter than expected, but still full of citrus flavours. As a traditional darker beer drinker I always find citrus IPA's have an initial unpleasant taste but once my pallet adjusts they just become a bit bland, and this is no exception. It's difficult to find anything that stands out about American IPA, but given that it's served in Wetherspoon's around the country is that a surprise? It's very much a standard beer that people who like IPAs will order and not be disappointed by. I'm going to give American IPA from Devils Backbone Brewing Company 4 out of 10. If you want a standard citrus IPA you wont be let down by this, but it is pretty bland.