Jason Johnson's picture

Judge's Review: 91 Rating - Hello, LA by Highland Park Brewery

November, 2020
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
5 / 6
37 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Hello, LA by Highland Park Brewery is a classic West Coast-Style IPA, so I will be judging it against Category 21A, American IPA.

The beer poured a yellow color with a slight haze, suggesting that dry hopping was involved. The head is pillowy and long-lasting. It’s a highly appealing-looking IPA and much lighter in color than what I am used to seeing. The hop aroma of this beer is very pleasant. It’s not heavy or assertive, but it is the dominant aroma. The hop profile is fruity and tropical. I get a lot of mango with a little bit of green melon as a secondary note. The malt profile is medium and lightly sweet. Moving into the flavor the fruitiness of the beer makes it easily crushable. The tropical mango, guava and melon is great. The malt flavor profile is a bit lost in the bitterness and hop flavor, but there is an obvious light sweetness coming from the malt. All the malts on the grain bill side must be on the lighter side, and it does not detract from the beer. The sweetness does help cut the medium-high bitterness. The finish is all tropical hop flavor and very little bitterness. You could easily drink a few pints of this. There is a very light alcohol presence as well that shows up a bit more as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is medium, as is the carbonation.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. It’s intensely tropical, which putting the judging hat aside, is my favorite hop flavor/aroma profile. What I would personally like to see is a bit more malt showing up to the party. Perhaps just a touch (or a touch more if it’s already there) of biscuit malt would provide a little bit more malt depth. The sweetness is nice, the lightness of it all is nice, but I just feel the malt is a touch underdone. Still, this is a solid American IPA.