Reviewed: Coronado North Island IPA
Product description: This New England-style IPA is bursting with ripe, tropical juiciness. British ale yeast accentuates the hop fruitiness and gives this unfiltered beer a dense, foggy haze like the coastal marine layer swallowing the north side of our island. 7.5% ABV, 40 IBUs.
North Island IPA debuted in December of last year as a seasonal/limited release and is currently available in 6-packs of 12 oz cans as well as bombers. The label design for this beer is a big improvement over their core lineup whose cans I maintain look more like seltzer water than craft beer.
Sampled from a 12 oz can packaged on 1/22/18, North Island is nicely hazy, translucent light golden to straw in color. High carbonation generates thick pillows of white foam. It looks perfect for this style. The aroma is similarly on point with green banana, pineapple, star fruit and some white sugar. As it warms, everything coalesces into a mango banana smoothie.
High carbonation dominates the first couple of sips giving way to medium sugar and bitter mango skin. There’s a soft water profile that gives the beer some excellent buoyancy and subtle saltiness. Like some of the best hazy IPAs out there, North Island is super soft and subdued. Sweetness is at a 4 out of 10 while bitterness I would say is a 2 out of 10. It’s super drinkable and would not have been called an IPA five years ago. Though ABV is at the top end of the regular IPA spectrum at 7.5%, it goes completely unnoticed. There’s enough body, bitterness, and tropical fruit to keep your palate occupied. Pineapple, mango, and green banana continue to dance around the tongue powered by champagne-like bubbles. But what I like the best about this beer is that it does not suffer in the mouthfeel like many other NE-style IPAs. Most suffer from a side effect of chalkiness and grittiness in the mouthfeel from the exaggerated haze effect in the beer be it from the reintroduction of yeast sediment, vegetal hop matter particulate, or just generally more unflocculated proteins in suspension. Here the mouthfeel is soft and smooth as is intended for this style.
Count this as one of the few NE-style IPAs to both hit the style on the head and hit wider retail distribution. Plus, shelf life seems to be solid as I sampled it about 7 weeks post packaging. In every detail, this is a highly impressive beer.