What a great way to kick off Halloween week than a beer that pays homage to an urban legend. Not being from the Northern Virginia area, I had to do a little research about the infamous NoVa Bunny Man. This was one myth that was created back in the 70s from 2 accounts of someone dressed in a bunny costume that attacked people with a hatchet or an axe, depending on what story you want to believe. The legend has grown since then and it was the inspiration for this collaboration between these two Central Virginia breweries. And it is sufficient to say that the beer exhibited a little bit of that urban legend as well.
R.I.P. Ale, Legend Brewery (Richmond, VA) & Lost Rhino (Ashburn, VA)
Amber Ale/India Pale Ale, ABV: 7.0%
Presentation: Tap pour into pint glass.
Appearance: Red to amber in color, clear, light head dissipating fast.
Smell: A very interesting IPA profile with hoppy/piney aroma heavy, faint citrus and malt notes noticeable.
Taste: The first taste is that of a very ‘green’ beer. The hop combination makes for an almost grassy/earthy front end that finishes with a bitter back end with the ‘red’ part of the Red IPA trying to poke through with some light sweetness and lemon zestiness.
ABV/IBU Feel: There is a clear and distinct hoppy astringent mouth feel throughout this beer, denoting a high IBU content. With the ABV right at 7%, you have to believe that the sheer amount of Amarillo and Chinook hops have to be enormous, or at the very least, enough to outweigh the malt used in this brew.
Overall: If you love IPAs, this is one to definitely check out, but do it quickly as this is a very limited release. While it is branded as a Red IPA, the collective agreement from the crowd after this was tapped was that this was very much an India Pale Ale and less of an Amber Ale. The notes of an Amber or Irish Red were imparted on this beer, but it was harder to get over the unique front end hoppiness to appreciate the ‘dual complexity’ of both hop and malt. Nevertheless, the build up to this collaboration was not lost and is a welcome addition to any tap lineup.