BEER REVIEW: Whitewater Class V IPA


BEER REVIEW: Class V India Pale Ale - Whitewater Brewing Company

I would be doing myself a disservice if my first review on this blog wasn't an IPA - without hesitation, my favourite style of beer.  Part of the beauty of living in the Ottawa region is that compared to just a few years ago, we're starting to get somewhat spoiled when it comes to great local IPAs.
So, let's get to the details:

STYLE: American IPA
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 72

Class V is one of the "original four" beers from Whitewater Brewing Company in Foresters Falls, Ontario, in the Ottawa Valley region. I've had three of those four, and Class V is one that I keep coming back to time and time again, like an old lady at Costco who keeps going back for the ten-pound box of granola bars for her grandkids, even though they all have peanut allergies.


Class V IPA | The Best Craft Beer Blog

Is that a river of blood?

Class V is available at the LCBO, and comes in a sharply designed red & white can (O Canada!) with easy to read labelling. It also features some nifty artwork of some hapless soul navigating the fanciest river anyone has ever seen. It makes sense, seeing as how the three co-founders of the brewery were all whitewater rafters or rafting instructors. I'm guessing they're probably not now, because Whitewater has been a great success story. If I'm given the choice to jump in a small dinghy every day and fight aggressive rapids or make great beer, I'm taking beer every time. Anyhow, "Class V" refers to a level of difficulty ( I - VI) of rivers, with VI being the most difficult - I'm guessing this refers to this beer having a strong flavour, and hopefully they're not saying it's hard to drink (probably not going to sell many beers that way).


Deep, rich amber-orange with a thick two-finger head that slowly dissipates into a thin white cap with good retention (meaning once it levels off into that thin white cap, it remains that way until you're close to finishing the beer).


A mild citrus (mainly grapefruit) scent with a surprisingly higher level of malt/breadiness to it. More so than your typical American-style IPA, but not unpleasant at all. It actually provides a bit of balance and gives the aroma a sweeter edge to it.


Class V IPA | The Best Craft Beer Blog

Frothy goodness

Upon first sip, you get that mild tropical fruitiness that was present in the aroma. That tapers off fairly quickly and turns into a fairly strong bitterness (we are talking 72 IBU, after all) that lingers well after the finish. As expected with the aroma, there is a prominent malt profile to counteract that somewhat, but the bitterness is the dominant aspect - something the hop heads will love. Who are hop heads, you ask? Are you sure you're on the right blog? It's a great-tasting beer that is rather crisp and clean, and with an ABV of 5.5% (which is relatively low for this style), it's nice and sessionable and won't give you the ol' wobbly legs if you want to enjoy one at lunch. And for the record, yes - I fully support the lunch beer.


If jumping in a rubber boat to battle the fierce waters of the Ottawa River means that I'll get to have a few of these at the end (if I survive), then strap me into a less than flattering life jacket, because we're taking on these angry waters like Sinbad. The sailor....not the comedian.

Whitewater Class V IPA | The Best Craft Beer Blog

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