Friday, April 13, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Flying Tiger's Heroic Hops IPA

by Eric Ducote

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of Feature Beer Friday! We're staying in-state this week with an offering from Flying Tiger Brewery out of Monroe. This is one of the handful of Louisiana breweries that I haven't yet had a chance to visit, and in fact I don't think I've ever even been to Monroe.  I certainly don't remember ever visiting, and that's something that I'll have to change eventually... and when I do, a visit to the Flying Tiger taproom will certainly be in order.  

Flying Tiger Brewery (not to be confused with Flying Heart or Crying Eagle) takes their name from the Flying Tigers, a volunteer group of American pilots who defended China against Japan during World War II. They were commanded by General Claire Chennault, who grew up in small Louisiana towns near Monroe. 

Heroic Hops is one of four flagship brews produced by Flying Tiger, in addition to a rotating lineup of seasonal and specialty brews in their taproom. The Man At Arms Amber Ale, Burma Blonde, and Warhawk Kolsch (a ULM affiliated beer) round out their flagship offerings. Heroic Hops comes in at 5.8% ABV and 69 IBU, right in the wheelhouse for an American IPA. They describe the beer as, "Citrus, Sauvignon grape, and tropical notes fly forward as these hops blend effortlessly with a strong base of two row and Munich malts. Let there be no mistake, heroism is definitive…as is the beer you drink."  

Heroic Hops IPA by Flying Tiger Brewery

My first impression on pouring this beer is that it's hazier than I expected... I was expecting more of a traditional IPA look to this one but it's got a good bit of turbidity going on. I'm not saying it's as hazy as last week's Jucifer, but it's certainly not a filtered clear IPA either. The color is gold-to-amber, with a bubbly white champagne-esque head. The aroma is definitely strong with the sauvignon grape notes they described. I don't know if I would have picked that out without the description, but now that it's in my head, it's all I can think of when I smell this beer. There are definitely hints of citrus as well, but the sauvignon notes dominate in my opinion. The taste is a great follow through on the inviting aroma, with a fantastic balance of bitterness of tropical flavor, and the malt smartly stays out of the way to let the hops shine.  

All in all, this one really impressed me. I had only tried a few beers from Flying Tiger before, and wasn't sure what to expect from this IPA, but it has all the makings of a fantastic Summer weather back patio beer. Unfortunately this one isn't available in Baton Rouge yet, but next time you are up in North Louisiana, grab some, and bring a 6-pack down for me!


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