Jul 13, 2017

Coronado 21st Anniversary Imperial IPA

Coronado’s description of their 21 years in business includes the line, “a lot has changed since those early days.” That would be an understatement, especially when it comes to the cans and bottles found in craft beer’s IPA realm. We’ve gone from the classic pine/grapefruit combination that started it all, through extreme bitterness tests, deep into black phases and now have arrived at the latest iteration of the style — fruit-forward and less biting.

Coronado’s 21st Anniversary IPA certainly is a reflection of the times.

This 8% ABV brew is packed with tropical notes, melon and floral hints in both the aroma and flavor. There’s a touch of pine in there, as well, but it takes a back seat to an array of delicate fruit notes. The 21st Anniversary IPA may pack 68 IBU, but the bite is more of a gentle hug than anything else, as the brew glides softly over the tongue to the long lasting and lightly warming finish. This is probably one of the smoothest, most “drinkable” imperial IPAs I’ve encountered in recent time.

While I personally prefer my IPAs (imperial and not) with a healthy bitterness, I can still appreciate a finely crafted beer. And that’s exactly what Coronado has with their latest celebratory release. It may not be as in-your-face as I would like, but it is still a lovely, delicate beer that provides a good flavor and refreshing character. I just wish it had a little more oomph in the fruit or bitterness area.

This is a review of a promotional sample.