The IPA pours a crystal-clear pale gold and is topped by a thick cap of rocky, off-white foam that shows fair retention. The reduction leaves behind gobs of soapy residue along the sides of the glass.
The aroma fragrantly wafts a scent of fresh pine needles, grain, and a hint of tropical fruit.
The palate is hop-forward with a taste of piney hops leading the way. Lightly toasted bread and ripe tropical fruit hold down the middle. The finish is punched with a bite of lemon citrus and is followed by mildly spicy and resinous hops. And there’s even an earthiness that’s picked up on the swallow.
Its feel is crisp with a light grain texture that finishes dryly with a less-than-moderate astringency. Medium body and matching carbonation.
The Hop Defender looks good in the glass and its aroma is strong and pleasant. The palate is well balanced with enough complexity to keep the session interesting. And its feel lends to this brew being easily crushed. All in all, the Hop Defender IPA is a well-crafted brew.
Brooklyn Brewery recommends the following food pairings with their Hop Defender IPA: grilled vegetables, barbecue, spicy dishes, and Gouda.