Elevated to Excellence
A Review of Elevated IPA by La Cumbre Brewing Co.
Posted on 1/15/2014 by Chops
                   
Exquisite
Sometimes a beer is so good that it makes you stammer. I recently had one such experience when I visited Albuquerque, New Mexico. I had picked out several breweries to visit, one of which was the La Cumbre Brewing Company. Whenever I sit down at a new brew pub, I always ask for their flagship beer first. There's no better way to be introduced to a brewery than by means of their most popular brew. After a pleasant chat with the bartender, I was presented with their award winning Elevated IPA. I offered a toast, took a sip, and proceeded with our conversation. At least, I tried to. I believe my exact words were, ''Yeah, we just came back from... um... uh... mmm... son of a bitch this is a great beer!'' I learned in a hurry why the Elevated IPA took home a gold medal from the Great American Beer Festival.

In the glass, this beer had a deep golden coloration with a coppery hue. It came with a frothy white head that had really nice retention. On the nose, I was greeted by a perfectly balanced array of piney earthy citrus. I could easily pick out some ripe grapefruit and tangerines. This beer had what I can only describe as a restrained intensity. It managed to present a richness and punch, but without an untamed aggression. It's pretty impressive to be honest, especially considering the 7.2% ABV and 100 IBUs. Definitely a beer to sink your nose into.

That piney earthy citrus also translated very well into the primary flavor profile. Again, a beautiful balance of flavor and punch, making this beer amazingly accessible. It also had a malty backbone of savory caramel. Along with the aromatic notes grapefruit and tangerines, I also found some grassy herbal notes swirling around. The beer had a solid medium body, was only moderately aggressive, was exceptionally clean, and drank smooth as silk (for an IPA that is). The finish was somewhat warm and chewy, then exited with a malty citrus aftertaste.

Overall, La Cumbre's Elevated IPA is a world-class brew. There is nothing about this beer that I didn't absolutely adore and it was hands down my favorite beer of my Albuquerque visit. I can happily recommend this brew to any and all beer fans. Hop heads, seasoned pros, and novices alike will be blown away by its accessible richness. If you're lucky enough to find some, then by all means indulge. It's exceedingly difficult for IPAs to set themselves apart in America's current craft beer climate, and the aptly named Elevated IPA does just that. It has certainly elevated itself as one of the best versions this country has to offer. When I return to Albuquerque, and believe me I will, this will be the beer I seek out first.

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Elevated IPA by La Cumbre Brewing Co.
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