The word “lush” can be used in two contexts. The first describes vegetation or the physical appearance of a person or thing. The second describes an ex-boyfriend I had once and the reason he became my ex. So, when presented with Fremont Brewing’s Lush IPA to review, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Will it be bursting with rich hop flavor and aroma? Is it supposed to turn me into an alcoholic? Maybe both?
Appearance and Aroma
Fremont’s can art for Lush is artistic. A clean, simple white can is complemented by a bright, green botanical illustration of Humulus lupulus, the scientific name for hops. Out of the can, Lush pours a medium-orange color with a slight haze that is common in unfiltered beers. An off-white head persists long after pouring and revives easily with the swirl of the glass, which also brings forth the strong aroma of tropical fruit blended with a slight dank and piney spice.
While I couldn’t find any faults in Lush IPA, I also can’t come up with a good reason to buy it again.”
Regardless of the Seattle brewery's intent with the name, Lush is first and foremost an American IPA. The brewers used a combination of 2-row pale and honey malts, which add sweetness to the bready foundation. With each sip, a tropical, citrusy cascade of Citra and Mosaic hop flavor become more prominent. However, this taste of pineapple and grapefruit quickly dissipates into a lingering herbal, peppery bitterness on the back end, which almost makes me want to take another sip in hopes it’ll wash it away.
While I couldn’t find any faults in Lush IPA, I also can’t come up with a good reason to buy it again. Put simply, Lush is just another IPA, in my mind. It’s a decent beer, one you can drink easily and without much effort, even at it’s hefty 7.0% ABV. Despite it’s lush, almost New England IPA-esque sweet and fruity flavor profile, it finishes just a tad too bitter for me.