A coiled cobra with a bad attitude
A Review of Last Chance IPA by Weyerbacher
Posted on 3/21/2013 by Chops
I have begun to take notice of an interesting trend circulating through the craft beer movement. There is no common name for them that I know of, so I will just refer to them as ''awareness beers''. These are the beers that are tied to a specific cause, usually involving some sort of environmental activism. Purchasing these beers means that you are contributing to the effort, as portions of proceeds go directly to that cause. They are great concepts and I applaud brewers when they choose to help in the best way they can: by brewing. The latest awareness brew to cross my path was Weyerbacher's Last Chance IPA. They explain their mission as so:

The name ''Last Chance'' is a nod to something held very close to the hearts of many of the employees at Weyerbacher Brewing Company: Animal Rescue. Weyerbacher donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every drop of Last Chance IPA to small, regional animal rescue operations. These shelters offer dogs, cats and other pets their last chance to find a new home. Have a glass, make a difference! Cheers!

As a fellow critter friend, I raise my glass in appreciation.

In the glass, this beer has a hazy yet sunny orange coloration similar to a standard hefeweizen. It comes with a frothy white head that has really good retention. On the nose, I found a lovely grapefruit citrus with notes of pine. There is also plenty of tropical flare swirling around, mostly in the form of pineapple.

At this point I should note that Weyerbacher describes this beer as ''a west coast-style full-flavored hop assault delightfully lacking in balance''. This is an important tidbit to know going into that first sip. This beer may look and smell like a soft and cuddly critter, but be warned: your taste buds are going to uncover a coiled cobra with a bad attitude.

That first sip makes one thing abundantly clear: this beer is powerfully assertive. Big hops, big sting, no balance, just unhinged aggression. It's a very big disconnect between aroma and flavor, so like I mentioned before, it helps to be prepared for it. That being said, this beer actually has a lot of great flavor, but you have to work for it. The piney hops dominate and everything else is a distant second, but it's still fun to hunt for traits. I found some tangy tropical fruity notes, namely mango and pineapple. Grapefruit is also present as well as some grainy malt and floral notes. The beer has a light-to-medium body with a mouthfeel that is obviously harsh and unapologetic. This beer is so dry and aggressive that it feels more like an imperial version, definitely an obligate sipper. The resulting finish is very dry, very bitter, and lingers for a very long time.

Overall, Weyerbacher's Last Chance IPA is great for what it is: an unhinged West Coast IPA. That's great news for hop heads, but scary for novices. I would typically steer beginners away from beers like this. But, since beer trumpets a great cause, I'm going to recommend it to all levels of beer fans. Novices can think of it as an experiment in aggression. But be warned: this beer is going to reek havoc on your taste buds and mercilessly beat them into submission. It's the taste bud equivalent of a rabid badger attack. But, proceeds go to help that badger, so suck it up and get to work!

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Last Chance IPA by Weyerbacher
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