Several years after Sam Adams launched its Rebel IPA, the beer has grown a loyal following across the country. A slew of new IPAs have followed in a new portfolio known as the “Rebel Family.” These beers include the Rebel IPA, Rebel Rouser Double IPA, Rebel Grapefruit IPA and Rebel Cascade IPA.

As the brewery continues to grow, Sam Adams also wants to make sure it continues to redefine itself. In the spirit of that sentiment, Sam Adams has reformulated its flagship hoppy brew known as Rebel IPA. The brewery is calling this reformulation “Project Lupulus” and brings a number of new ingredients into the fold.

When Rebel IPA was originally made, there were some hops that weren’t readily available to the brewery. Back in 2013, Sam Adams worked with a “hop breeder” from Yakima Valley, WA to created a new hop variety. This is said to be an exclusive hop to Sam Adams, and it is known as HBC 566.

Sam Adams Rebel IPA has certainly been a beer that packs a punch with its hop. With the newest addition of HBC 566 to the formula, it adds even greater depth to its hoppy palate. There are now a total of seven different hop varieties in the new Rebel IPA. These include HBC 566, HBC 682, Mosaic, Cascade, Simcoe, Centennial and Chinook.

Artwork for Sam Adams Rebel IPA (Courtesy of Sam Adams).

Rebel IPA has always possessed a clean, crisp finish, however, this new iteration demonstrates that in fine fashion. The ending palate is incredibly welcoming. Rebel IPA is certainly more accessible than the older version Sam Adams made. The combination of new hops and absent malt create a magnificent finish.

Additionally, the variety of hops makes sure this beer stands uniquely among the many IPAs out there. The level of drinkability in this beer is incredibly high for an IPA and it is clear this palate is clearly different from the original Rebel IPA. Sam Adams is purposefully bringing a stronger hop to Rebel IPA’s finish, but that doesn’t mean it will chase you away.

They were able to do this by removing the caramel malt from the grain and brew with the Sam Adams two-row malt. The brewery reckons there’s less of a malty tone to the beer’s new palate. I agree with this note and in fact, strongly prefer the new version of Rebel IPA. However, I would say the stronger hops doesn’t mean it is less accessible for beer drinkers. The new Rebel IPA finishes incredibly well and proves to be an IPA for all hop heads, and accessible to prospective hop heads as well.

Artwork for Sam Adams Rebel Juiced IPA (Courtesy of Sam Adams).

Switching gears to Rebel Juiced IPA, this particular ale contains significantly less hops. A more concentrated selection of hops can be found in the Rebel Juiced IPA. Sam Adams decided to utilize the Mosaic, Mandarina and Zeus hops for the Juiced IPA. Each of these hops help deliver that quintessential citrus personality this beer embodies.

Rebel Juiced IPA certainly turns out to be an interesting step forward from the Rebel IPA. I mean step forward in the sense that the Juiced IPA possesses fruitier, more citrusy notes than the Rebel IPA. There is a strong mango presence from the nose to the palate. Scents of the fruit are present as are they present in the actual tasting notes.

The IPA is certainly one that presents a fruity presentation, however, it is a nice step away from what Rebel IPA does well. Rebel Juiced IPA possesses a nice balance and will not overpower you with hops. Its overall finish is clean, like the Rebel IPA, and does have notes of sweetness toward the end of its palate. The beer is a pleasant alternative to the already robust lineup of Rebel brews.

Rebel Juiced IPA will make its debut in the Pack of Rebels collection later this month. You can pick up the beer in six-pack form now. As for the Rebel IPA, Sam Adams will be making the beer available on draft, in six-packs and 12-packs, and should be out shortly. The beer contains a 6.5 alcohol by volume (ABV), while the Rebel Juiced IPA sports a 6.2 ABV. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on craft beer.

About Steve Ruygrok

Gaming, Spirits, and Craft Beer enthusiast. If you say you don't like beer, then you just haven't had the right type yet. Great spirits keep away the bad ones. Video games are kind of amazing, just do it...or something like that. Contact me at weplaythingssteve@gmail.com

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