I asked one of the guys at my beer store for an IPA and he recommended this as being a lighter hop IPA (flavor and aroma) that had a good bite and yet was very smooth.
Anderson Valley's IPA poured a deep amber with an egg cream like head. The head was well laced initially but as it settled it became big-bubble foamy.
Aroma was caramel, brown sugar and brightened up with some light hops in the background.
First thing that hit me was how delightfully bitter the hops were. The hops were bitter and sharp and yet very smooth.
The flavor profile was relatively flat and the flavors dry with only a hint of sweetness from some the roasted caramel malts.
Slight citrus notes and the piney-grassy notes opened up on the back of the palate. The light hops were always on the nose with each sip as were the malts. I also found as the beer warmed the hops became brighter and added complexity to this beer. Some rye or whisky notes also developed as the beer warmed.
This beer was heavier for an IPA and the light carbonation contributed to the body.
This was a very nice beer if the hops were a little light for me in both the flavor and aroma. This is not they type of beer for someone that is looking for an fruity or flowery "hop-ed" up beer.
However, I really did like the bitterness as it gave the beer a nice bite without being harsh.
This was a very drinkable beer as the smooth-bitterness was unique. Even with an over 7.0% ABV I could not taste the alcohol.