When the GABF first introduced the American IPA category in 1998, this beer took back-to-back gold medals; now subdued by today’s hop-bomb standards, this IPA remains a pleasant, drinkable example of the style. The orange-gold tint, firm off-white head and sparkling clarity make an impressive presentation, while the aroma throws off a grassy and grapefruit-skin scent, caramel sweetness, and a touch of alcohol. Sweet malt embraces the palate gently -- there’s just enough to set the stage for the beer’s main feature. Hops assert themselves, but they don’t smack you like many of today’s highly-hopped versions. Those grapefruit and green grass flavors provide a pronounced bite that lingers into the aftertaste.