Just in time for the end of summer, IPA No. 6 landed in my local LCBO.
Last year seemed to be the year of the watermelon, with many brews featuring watermelon infusions. It seems that this year has been driven by peach and plum (though not together, from what I have seen).
Keeping with this trend, IPA No. 6, the latest edition of Collective Arts’ Collective Project, relies heavily on peach and citrus flavours, from the use of copious amounts of peach puree and both Amarillo and Wai-Iti hops, respectively.
Admittedly, while I generally like peach flavour, recent efforts at incorporating the light, juicy fruit into summer beers by some of my favourite Ontario brewers have fallen flat. Given this, I approached IPA No. 6 with restrained excitement.
While IPA No. 6 has generally not tested nearly as well as IPA No. 5 (per Untappd), a double dry-hopped New England IPA, this is the clear peach winner among Ontario craft brewers, for me.
The choices of hops likely made all of the difference. Amarillo hops have been in short supply, and pack the citrus punch of Cascade hops, while bringing distinctively orange characteristics, with hints of lemon and grapefruit.
Wai-iti hops are much less common, originating in New Zealand, and bring a bright, aromatic citrus note to the brew.
It is clear that Collective Arts did their homework and chose their hop combination quite carefully. The very unusual Amarillo/Wai-iti hop combination serve as a perfect backdrop for the peach puree, allowing the fruit flavour to do much of the heavy lifting, with the slightly bitter hops taking a backseat.
The result is a highly drinkable and bright IPA, with many subtle flavour notes. The sweetness is kept to a relative minimum, considering the nature of the brew, but the subtle bitterness complements the juicy sweetness, for a surprising balance.
This is a stellar entry from a stellar brewery, which is now quite well-established as one of the ‘giants’ in Ontario craft brewing. The timing is right, and I expect that these will sell out quickly, for people to enjoy on their patios as summer winds to a close and porter/stout season approaches.
I would also be remiss not to give praise to the wonderful (as always) can art, with the zen sloth supplied by Blake Stevenson from Toronto.
- ABV: 6.7%
- IBU: N/A
- Style: IPA
- Taste: Peachy and hoppy
- Rating: 4.6/5.0
- Untappd Reviews
As a continuing feature of my reviews, each review will be followed by a one to two-line review from my wife, Stephanie. As a non-beer drinker, her reviews will be from the perspective of a “layperson” beer drinker.
“It smells like I’m going to be disappointed. I stand corrected! I could sip this.”