Name: Kona Brewing Co Castaway IPA
Style: IPA (India Pale Ale)
Beer description: Kona Brewing Company is one of the larger breweries in Hawaii. They produce a good variety of styles and can be found in most states of the mainland as well.
Kona’s IPA, the Castaway, is light amber in colour with a tint of orange and red, similar to their Fire Rock Pale Ale, but a little darker. On first impression, this is going to be a light IPA.
The scent of the beer gives very malty aromas of biscuit and vanilla. There is a desire to be salty and by the sea, and it’s there, but fleeting. The aroma isn’t terribly hop driven, but there is some spice to it. Pineapple, which could be mistaken for citrus, come through after awhile, giving the beer a more tropical feeling.
With the smell, the beer feels like a more old fashioned IPA. It’s not quite a British style, but definitely not as overt as an American IPA. It feels like the beers takes its cue from the origin of the IPA needing to make long journeys by ship; it certainly has a nautical quality to it.
The malt drive continues in the flavour and body, which initially feels a little on the thin side, but it suits the beer. There’s not a lot up front due to the contrasting maltiness yet thinness of the beer, but about two thirds of the way through the taste spectrum, a bitterness shows itself and steadily builds. Occasionally, but not always, the pineapple come on back bringing along a little bit of kiwi fruit to really make it a tropical beer.
It’s a very dry bitterness that is quite earthy and feels of dried leaves. The resin comes through and some of the flavours remind the drinker that hops is a close cousin of the hemp plant. The bitterness jumps between being big and really sticking in the back and then spreading across the entire mouth to dissipate.
However, the bitterness has a nice build to it which brings the beer back to the expected American style of IPA, even though it started a bit more traditional.
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And for those not in the know, IPA stands for India Pale Ale. Find out why it’s called IPA.