The golden elixir poured from the 16oz can into the specialty glassware presents a crystal-clear allure. However, the head, though off-white and large-bubbled, disappointingly recedes quicker than expected for a beer of this style. This departure from past experiences may be attributed to the canned version, warranting further consideration.


Amalgamator’s olfactory journey commences with butterscotch toffee and fresh bread, harmoniously intermingling with the thick, resinous hops introduced in the late stages. In contrast to explosively aromatic counterparts like Cigar City’s Jai Alai IPA, this West Coast IPA leans towards showcasing its base beer. Hints of pound cake, toffee, caramel, and Hawaiian rolls reminisce of classic West Coast IPA contenders, like Pizza Port Swami’s and Port Brewing Wipeout.


Diving into the flavor profile, the maltier spectrum unfolds with notes of pound cake, toffee, caramel, and Hawaiian rolls. This concoction forms a dense, carby foundation, providing a delightful meal-in-a-glass experience. Substantial white grapefruit juice pierces through the sweetness, maintaining a balance that places bitterness around a moderate 7 on a 10-point scale. The mouthfeel, soft and silky, rivals esteemed hoppy counterparts, such as The Hop Concept’s Dank & Sticky, but does so with a commendably lower ABV of 7.1%.


A notable characteristic emerges in the form of a light acidity building at the back of the palate after each sip, contributing to a lingering acidity rather than the customary lingering bitterness. Alongside a wet sourdough flavor, white grapefruit, kumquat, pineapple, and hints of peach dance on the taste buds. The mouthfeel, marked by oily, resinous hops, remains a standout feature—smooth, soft, and never succumbing to sharpness or bite.


Amalgamator emerges as a prime exemplar of West Coast IPA, encapsulating the genre’s best attributes. Despite pricing that edges towards the higher spectrum and a 4-pack format, it excels in refreshing nuances, silkiness, and a delightful array of yellow fruitiness. While Pizza Port Swami’s maintains its position as the gold standard for IPA due to factors like quality, price, format, and accessibility, Amalgamator claims its own niche. For the past four years, it has consistently held the coveted spot as a personal favorite, making a strong case as the best IPA money can buy.