The Rakau IPA is by Hop Federation, based in Riwaka at the hop of the South Island of New Zealand, an area known for many great breweries. This IPA uses the Rakau variety of hops, a New Zealand hop that has become increasingly common in the last decade. Before I get onto the beer itself it is worth noting the bottle, which is subtly decorated with a stylized hop as the main logo, which is colored differently for the different beers in the range. Nothing overt, but at the same time distinctive.
Not onto the beer. The nose is quite subtle overall, but has a malty smell with underlying notes of hops and subtle fruits. The taste is light and has notes of hops and malts. The flavor really comes out in the finish, which is quite bitter but also with a sweetness to it, and again with the the distinct taste of hops.
Overall this is a decent IPA. It is perhaps not as aromatic as some IPAs can be and the body is a bit light, but the flavor really comes out at the finish. The beer is a 54 IBU according to Hop Federation’s website, but it tastes a bit stronger than that to me. The flavor sticks with you at the finish and isn’t fleeting as can be the case with some IPAs. To me this is an IPA turned on its head, which makes a nice change in the current IPA-rich market.
Who: Hop Federation, New Zealand
Nose: Malt, hops, fruits
Look: Light amber
Taste: Hops, malts
Finish: Bitter, sweet, hops
Form Tried: 500ml bottle