Beer Reviews Wells Ipa

If I had to choose whether I’d spend the rest of my life exclusively drinking European ales and lagers or those from America, I’d probably choose the European models. After all, Europe is where these styles of beer come from. And for the most part, they make them better than we do. You let me loose on ales from the UK in particular, and I’m gonna show a lot of love. Especially when it comes to either bitter ales (pales ales and IPAs for example) or strong, malty winter warmers.

I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend with some of my European ales and lagers, lately. Some of them have been following a strictly American business model in producing their beers. Some of them are becoming bland, dumbed down versions of what they once were. I’ve been hearing tales of late that Charles Wells IPA might be such a beer. Never being one to rely solely on other people’s word, I headed to my neighborhood beer store to pick up a 4-pack and try it for myself.

I pour Wells IPA into my favorite glass. It fills the glass a deep gold with shades of copper. Light carbonation supports a dense, off white head with good retention. Taking my first sniff, Charles Wells IPA starts out with bready aromas up front. Breadiness moves into maltiness with hints of caramel, supported by a slight metallic tang. Finish shows nice hop character in the form of peppercorns and fresh mown grass.

As I take my first sip, Charles Wells IPA offers a medium bodied ale with a smooth mouthfeel. Flavor starts out with caramel in the front. Maltiness moves into a nicely rounded center with more flavors of malt. Finish offers hints of leather and a straightforward bitterness. Bitterness is crisp. Finish is short and clipped. Having finished my tasting notes, I sip on the rest of the beer, deciding how much I like what I just drank.

Overall, Charles Wells IPA is not bad. I feel fairly comfortable giving it a 7.59 out of 10. Is Charles Wells IPA as dumbed down as I’ve heard said? Well, maybe. The biggest sin committed by this beer is that maybe it’s flavors are a little bit linear. It lacks the robustness and juiciness of better IPAs. I think I’d be more on board with this ale if it advertised itself as a bitter instead of an IPA. 

So, no it’s not the best IPA I’ve ever had but I would have it again if I was in the mood for a straightforward English Bitter. Serve Charles Wells IPA with a nice beef stew, chilli con carne or a plate of your favorite chilli cheese fries. The maltiness will stand up to the flavors of the beef. Bitterness will accentuate the spiciness, and cut through any fattiness present. Or, try it with a full flavored nutty cheddar.

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