James squire ‘hop thief’ APA (release no.6)


imageWe recall not long ago reviewing the 5th instalment in this varietal hop series which was brewed with the famous Centennial and Citra hops, and it was a brilliant beer from this usually stock standard brewery. We’re almost certain with a hop bill including the likes of Columbus and Simcoe that this new addition should also stack up.

Served in an IPA glass the deep amber pour produced a gorgeous copper red hue with magnificent clarity. A 1 inch white head on top persisted but eventually fell away to a ring of foam around the edge. The gorgeous pine-resinous aromas of the Columbus hops definitely dominate. Subtle undertones of spice, and tropical fruits such as passion fruit, lychee and peach come to mind. What is great is the balance they have going on here with a decent backdrop of chewy caramel malt. The mouthfeel is almost watery but the medium carbonation and bitterness adds much needed body. Similar to the aroma, flavours of pine needle and subtle grapefruit welcome the palate. A vibrant bitterness along with a touch of spice carries through the mid-palate and delivers a bitter, citric finish with good length. 5% ABV. Really nice APA, sessional and clean but for us we think the 5th release was slightly better. Still, a good offering from a commercial brewery.