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Sean Coughlin's picture


March, 2017


South Carolina
United States
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
5 / 6
39 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Holy City Brewing’s Paradise is being evaluated as an American IPA (Category 21A) with session strength according to the BJCP guidelines. Session India Pale Ales have become very popular in the market over the last few years with their high levels of hop flavor/aroma and lower alcohol. They can be perceived as similar to modern American Pale Ales with a higher level of bitterness in the balance and lower alcohol content.

The aroma for this beer is reminiscent of a cup of freshly pureed passion fruit. A large tropical hop presence takes center stage with no initial malt or fermentation characteristics. As the senses adjust to the explosion of passion fruit emanating from the glass, there is a subtle Pilsner-like malt presence underneath adding an aroma of bread dough. 

The beer is light blonde with moderate haze and a small white head that disperses quickly. The flavor follows the aroma with a bit more complexity than anticipated from the hop profile. Passion fruit mingles with notes of guava, cantaloupe, and a hint of lemongrass. The bitterness is moderately high for the size of the beer but well balanced for the style. The malt profile does a good job of staying out of the way allowing for a high level of tropical hop expression.    

The body is medium-light and avoids coming across as thin, which can upset the balance in a session-strength IPA. The carbonation is moderate and high enough to highlight the dry finish of the beer, aiding in overall drinkability. This beer would be a wonderful warm weather drinker that has enough hop complexity to hold your interest even after the third or fourth glass.