Beer Review: MIKKELLER SAN DIEGO WINDY HILL IPA

Beer Review: MIKKELLER SAN DIEGO WINDY HILL IPA

The Mikkeller San Diego Windy Hill IPA, presented in a 16 oz. can, pours into specialty glassware, revealing a brew that has secured its place among the hazy IPA trend since Mikkeller SD’s hazy IPA spree in 2017. The can design, featuring a matte paper label, echoes a familiar aesthetic seen in releases from other breweries. Credit is due to artist Keith Shore for the standout brand design, reminiscent of Picasso and Matisse’s paper cutouts.

The beer itself, sampled from a 6-week-old can with a Julian date stamp, emanates a murky, glowing pineapple juice color, crowned by a substantial white foam. Despite its turbidity, the presence of settled yeast dregs at the can’s bottom adds an extra layer of cloudiness.

Aroma

Windy Hill’s aroma offers a dessert-like brightness, reminiscent of pineapple soft serve, iced yellow pound cake, and vanilla ice cream. The olfactory experience promises a sweet journey, setting the stage for what’s to come.

Taste

In the realm of flavor, Windy Hill hits all the notes expected of a New England-style IPA. Pineapple upside-down cake takes the forefront, accompanied by a subdued herbal bitterness reminiscent of Kaffir lime leaves. The beer manages to retain its “IPA” identity, a feat not always accomplished in this hazy segment.

Mouthfeel

The mouthfeel of Windy Hill is a testament to its craftsmanship. Pillowy and soft, thanks to malt proteins and un-flocculated yeast, it avoids the gritty flavors often found in similar hazy IPAs. Surprisingly dry for its style, it boasts a sweetness level of 4 out of 10 (medium-bodied) and a bitterness level of 5 out of 10, offering a well-structured experience.

Overall

In the grand scheme of hazy IPAs, Windy Hill stands out with finesse and nuance. No single character dominates, allowing for a harmonious blend of tropical joy, moderate dryness, and a firm background bitterness. Its popularity is well-earned, offering a compelling choice for enthusiasts and newcomers alike. Without hesitation, I recommend Windy Hill to anyone keen on exploring the hazy IPA style, appreciating its balance and wide appeal.