Style: Specialty IPA – SNEIPA
Aroma: A moderate to strong fresh hop aroma featuring one or more characteristics of American or New World hops, such as tropical fruit, stone fruit, citrus, floral, spicy, berry, melon, pine, resinous, etc. Many versions are dry hopped and can have an additional fresh hop aroma; this is desirable but not required. Grassiness should be minimal, if present. A mediumlow to medium malty-sweet aroma mixes in well with the hop selection, and often features caramel, toffee, toasty, and/or dark fruit character. Fruitiness from yeast may also be detected in some versions, although a neutral fermentation character is also acceptable. A restrained alcohol note may be present, but this character should be minimal at best. Any American or New World hop character is acceptable; new hop varieties continue to be released and should not constrain this style.
Appearance: Color ranges from light reddish-amber to dark reddish-copper. Should be clear, although unfiltered dryhopped versions may be a bit hazy. Medium-sized, off-white to cream-colored head with good persistence
Flavor: Hop flavor is medium to very high, and should reflect an American or New World hop character, such as citrus, floral, pine, resinous, spicy, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, melon, etc. Medium-high to very high hop bitterness. Malt flavor should be medium-low to medium, and is generally clean but malty-sweet up front with medium-dark caramel, toffee, toasty and/or dark fruit malt flavors. The character malt choices and the hop selections should complement and enhance each other, not clash. The level of malt flavor should not adversely constrain the hop bitterness and flavor presentation. Low yeast-derived fruitiness is acceptable but not required. Dry to medium-dry finish; residual sweetness should be medium-low to none. The bitterness and hop flavor may linger into the aftertaste but should not be harsh. A very light, clean alcohol flavor may be noted in stronger versions.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body, with a smooth texture. Medium to medium-high carbonation. No harsh hopderived astringency. Very light, smooth alcohol warming not a fault if it does not intrude into overall balance.
Impression: Hoppy, bitter, and moderately strong like an American IPA, but with some caramel, toffee, and/or dark fruit malt character. Retaining the dryish finish and lean body that makes IPAs so drinkable, a Red IPA is a little more flavorful and malty than an American IPA without being sweet or heavy.
Pretty much any pairing that will work with an American IPA will also work with a Red IPA.
It can play well with lighter fare like French onion or tomato soup, pasta salads, or a good spicy shrimp salad. Pair it with something spicy like Indian, Asian, or Mexican cuisine. Drunken noodles anyone? It will also complement those old standby lunch, T.V., and I-don’t-feel-like-cooking favorites; pizza (try a margarita or smoked spicy sausage), hamburger, or BLT.
Red IPA is also great with barbecued pork ribs, grilled meats, and hearty roast where it both cuts and complements the rich flavors.
Cheese: As with all IPAs, when it comes to cheese you need something with some accretive flavor. Load you platter with blue, smoked gouda, sharp aged cheddar, aged Chèvre, or Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Dessert: Desserts? Did someone say dessert? Well, try some spice cake, vanilla or maple syrup cheesecake, or how about some homey oatmeal raisin cookies.
Serving & Storage: For best presentation and greatest appreciation, a Red IPA should be served at around 5-8°C in an IPA or Tulip glass. They are best stored at cellar temperatures away from light and should be enjoyed within a year of purchase; younger to get the full benefit of the hop profile.