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902 Brewing Company “Heaven, Hell or Hoboken” American India Pale Ale Review

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“Heaven, Hell or Hoboken” is an American India Pale Ale offering from New Jersey brewery 902 Brewing Company. The beer is named after Gen. John Pershing’s quote to American soldiers in World War I. Most American soldiers boarded ships in Hoboken bound for the trenches in Europe and the city is very proud of its heritage.

The beer pours a hazy orange-amber color with a white head that at its peak was about a finger and a half tall. There is a citrus aroma combined with hops. It is something you would expect from an IPA or AIPA.

The first sip brings forth the hops but then there is a sweetness that settles in before the hops come back. The sweetness reminded me of a pineapple but mixed with malt and slightly grassy notes. The pineapple taste was not overpowering and was fairly subtle but it was noticeable and actually somewhat surprising. As the beer drank, however, I noticed the pineapple sweetness was more subdued and became a little more citrusy, perhaps a tangerine or something along those lines. It was very hard to place after a while.

The hops are certainly evident but not as prominent as they are in most pale ales. It is medium-bodied with moderate carbonation that evens out over time to become a very smooth beer.

If you are looking for a hoppy IPA then this isn’t for you. If you like some hops in your beer with a nod to being an IPA then you might enjoy this more. It does clock in at 6.5% ABV which is decent. However, all in all I would say this is a nice beer but it needs refining. I would drink this again but might not go out of my way to do so. It certainly has potential though. The sweet pineapple notes were a pleasant surprise but a bit disappointing that they changed as the beer drank.

Overall this is a solid American IPA offering. It isn’t great, it isn’t bad. It is a decent beer that has some redeeming qualities but strict IPA lovers might find this to be too bland. But if you are coming in with an open mind you might find this to be a fairly enjoyable beer with some fairly unique flavors.

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