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Wanderer Session India Pale Ale - North Peak Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wanderer Session India Pale AleWanderer Session India Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

140 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 140
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 4
Gots: 9 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
North Peak Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kzoobrew on 04-21-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 140 | Reviews: 58
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

Color: hazed amber

Aroma: Dried mint, orange peel, toasted bread, nutty yeast and faint taffy.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Smooth drinking, aggressive bitterness and raw. Grainy and bready. Orange peel, tobacco and some mint. Yeasty, tamed alcohol and lingering hop bitterness.

Overall: Very tasty, but why call it an IPA ... just name the beer, who cares about styles when you are not going to be within the guidelines. Regardless, I could knock these back all day long ... I'd love to see a version that is 3% abv.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BB1313
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy golden; huge fluffy eggshell white head that sticks around and leaves great lacing and retention. The aromas are subtle and full of orange peel and caramel malts. The flavors are muchmore vibrant. Lots of orange, tangerine, and grapefruit. Lots of pine needles as well. The flavors are sharp and crisp. The malts take a backseat in the flavors and the bitterness shines. Mouthfeel is nice; it's light but has a nice body to it. Carbonation is very active. This is obviously an easy drinking beer.

This is a pretty bold beer at 4.2% abv. It definitely packs a punch. It's not a game changer, but it's well crafted.

Photo of superspak
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 8/17/2013. A bit of a gusher upon opening. Pours moderately hazy orange amber color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, tangerine, pineapple, floral, grass, caramel, bread, light pine, and floral earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good complexity of hop notes with a moderate malt balance; and decent strength. Taste of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange zest, pineapple, pine, floral, grass, bread, caramel, and floral earthiness. Good amount of earthy pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, pineapple, pine, floral, grass, bread, caramel, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and balance of bright citrus/pine hops flavors; with a crisp moderate malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very crisp and sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.2%. Overall this is a damn nice session IPA. Very nice robustness of bright hop flavors with a fair amount of malt; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a slightly hazed copper hue, the bottle has a tone of yeast sediment at the bottom. The stubby bottle was opened with loud gasp of carbonation releasing, and the head forms thick with a fine even lacing. Aroma has a citrus pine earthiness going on with the hops with a light pale biscuit malts combination going on. Layers of hop bitterness to the point of soapiness and hop pellets. Mouthfeel is light bodied super abrasive bitterness, a beer like this should be likeable but this one is hard to get through. Carbonation is alright not offensive, the type of beer that makes me want to start homebrewing to make a low alcohol hoppy beer that is drinkable, overall the right concept with poor execution. Much better with the yeast added in from the bottom of the bottle, adds some depth balance and breadiness some malt and yeast girth to stand up to straight hops.

Photo of Brenden
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is an opaque ruddy unpoloished gold in color, nearly but not quite amber. A nearly white head is a real beauty, two fingers tall and sitting thick, dense and craggy for minutes before it fades. When it does, the thick foam never goes away. Lacing isn't quite the impressive perfection the head is, which is the only detraction from a perfect score for appearance.
There's a very aromatic pungency off the nose, with piney, resinous hops foremost. There's floral and citrus as well with some malts for balance and yeast underneath.
Like the aroma, the flavor is foremost of dry, resinous hops with some depth and balance from a light malts presence. It's not perfectly balanced, though, and while it's a very good beer a bit of chalky bitterness betrays that. Very leafy/herbal flavors develop into the finish as it warms.
This is appropriately medium bodied with enough depth to seem fuller without being remotely heavy. Carbonation is light. The body's almost as dry as expected, but pulls pleasantly away from a biting, chalky astringency with the addition of malts that are overcome in the flavor by the hops. Otherwise, this is lightly crisp throughiout and becomes creamy in the middle with a smooth finish and lingers quite dryly.

Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Jolly Pumpkin in Ann Arbor. Golden bodied with carbonation bubbles visible. This one ranked at 4.1% abv. Orange flavour and creamy, although aggressive carbonation detracted it was still good drnkability. More like an American IPA in the pre-steroid days.

Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Date on the side of the label says April11, I hope that's the bottled-on date. Anyways, I like what they're going for here, a lower-abv, hoppy ale. I'd called it more of an extra pale ale, but it's all good. There's light but punchy, citrus hops character. I might have liked a bit of balancing malt (I only get a hint of biscuit in the aroma), but I'd be happy to spend a night working on a six-pack of this.

Photo of KYGunner
3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The concept of the sessionable IPA is a touch odd as the definition of an IPA has far more malt backbone. That's exactly what this was missing as it has a decent amount of piney, resiny lupilin flavor but the malt backbone seems completely absent. At 4 pct ABV that seems to be the case as there's simply not enough malt to balance. If you like an easy drinkability with a strong hop bitterness than this is your session beer.

Photo of beerbears
4.92/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured form a 12oz bottle into a pint.

Two finger cap when poured and bits of lace left after a few minutes. A lovely rich amber color.

Wonderful aroma of lots of citrus with a wonderful ending.

It's a session IPA that actually has great amounts of hop flavor.

Overall a wonderful session IPA, would definitely drink this again!

Photo of Bierguy5
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, 4.2% abv. Hazy, lighter copper color. Airy, white head with excellent retention and lace.

Nose is not very powerful, but lends some nice caramel malt, and faint grapefruit. Not overly juicy hop aroma, but enough to generate some interest.

Slightly bready malt up front, with a dry feel. Balance comes with some earthy hop flavor, and just a hint of citrusy hop flavors. Great balance, but some earthy notes linger.

Lighter side of medium body, with a nice feel from the carbonation. Very easy to drink, simple, and good balance.

Photo of damndirtyape
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a stemmed 16 oz beer glass at the Meadowlark Restaurant in Kettering, OH.

Appearance: Hazy dark amber with a 1/4" off-white head. Lots of strands of persistent lacing noted.

Smell: Tropical fruit, citrus, a hint of malt sweetness under the hop aroma.

Taste: Very hoppy with grapefruit and citrus abounding. Strong bitterness, but not overpowering. Some bready malt in the middle, maybe some caramelized malt as well as it warmed up.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, a bit spicy on the tongue, otherwise good thickness underneath.

Overall / Drinkability: Went very well with lunch (grilled provolone + tomato + basil sandwich), and maybe it a tad bit more rich in flavor and aroma when warmer, but otherwise very good from start to finish. Full flavored without all the alcohol - a perfect beer for a working lunch.

Photo of StoutHunter
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Wanderer Session India Pale Ale today for $1.89 at The Lager Mill. I got to try a sample of this beer last month at The World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth, I thought it was a very well done and flavorful beer, let's see if my feelings have changed. No visible freshness date. Poured from a short brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label is pretty much the same as all the other North Peak brews, but this one has a weird picture of a goat man on it. It poured a really hazy copper/orange color that was a little darker then I expected but I liked the look of it. It had two and a half fingers worth of white head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end.

S- The aroma is pretty much dominated by the hops in this beer. From the smell of it smells like it is a half and half mixture of piney and citrus hops. I pick up a little sweetness from the caramel malts, but other then that the aroma is pretty much all about the hops.

T- Just like the aroma, the taste is all about the hops and there is no hiding it. It starts with that nice hoppy bitterness on the front rather then on the finish like most Pale Ales. It seems that in the battle between citrus and piney hops that the piney hops have come out on top, I would have liked the balance of hops that I found in the aroma to be the same in the taste, but it isn't that big of a deal. I can actually pick up the nice caramel malt backbone of this beer, which has a very low amount of sweetness to it. This beer was pretty bitter at first but after a couple sips my taste bud adjusted to it and it wasn't to overbearing, the bitterness was similar to what you get in a Imperial Pilsner.

M- Crisp, refreshing and medium bodied. The carbonation on this beer was on the medium side and that suited the style nicely.

Overall I thought was a pretty damn good sessionable Pale Ale. I really like that fact that they crammed so much hop flavor into such a small beer, it really has the best of both worlds, the easy drinking of a session beer and the over the top hops flavors of an IPA. I feel this would be the perfect choice for my weekend disc golf games, its got all that flavor to hold my attention while being light enough to not fill me up or get me wasted. I liked the drinkability and aroma the most and the only thing I would change would be an even amount of pine and citrus, like how they were represented in the aroma. I will for sure be buying this again, I have no doubt six of these will be coming with me for my next disc golf game. If you like really hoppy and bitter beers then this will make a worthy choice, its nice to get all that bitterness and hop flavor without all the booze that usually comes with it, it just makes for a great bbq and summertime beer. I have yet to be let down by North Peak, they sure know how to use their hops, I will be on the lookout for any other North Peak brews I can get my hands on.

Photo of zoso1967
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wanderer is served up a nice copper amber color with a parchment head that has nice retention and leaves excellent lace.

The aroma is understated with some biscuit notes and some light piney and grapefruit aromas. I am a bit disappointed since I had this on tap at Jolly Pumpkin (TC) and I am sure it is extremely fresh.

There are the hops! The flavor is much more hop forward with some really in your face flavors like white grapefruit and dank pine. The malt is slightly biscuity, but pretty much buried by the hops and hop bitterness. The hop flavors are nice, but the more I drink this the more they sort of weigh on my palate.

The body is medium with a good amount of carbonation. The finish is super dry and leaves plenty of hop bitterness behind.

Overall this was a pretty darn good beer and one of the better North Peak brews I have tried to date. I think it is perhaps a bit over the top with the bitterness, but it is a decent sessionable beer for hop heads. This beer reminds me of Founders Endurance Ale, but is less drinkable.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Big thanks to Romulux for this.

4.5 A: This is a beauty. Opaque bottle-conditioned dark orange brownish color. Two fingers of thick, off-white creamy/frothy hybrid head. Pretty good retention and a lot of lacing.

4.0 S: Smells great too! Grapefruit, grassiness, and a light herbalness. A light caramel, with a subtle yeasty breadiness.

3.0 T: Unfortunately, the quality from the nose never made it to the taste. This is solidly mediocre. Not much hop flavor and not much malt flavor either. What is left is a moderate bitterness and a strong yeasty breadiness. No complexity at all.

2.5 M: The mouthfeel is even more disappointing. Lighter medium body. Could use a touch more carbonation, but it's hard to tell really since the existing carbonation lies lifeless on the tongue. Not creamy at all and not particularly smooth due to the yeastiness.

3.0 D: This one started out strong, but soon lost it's way. Really pleasant nose, but the taste and mouthfeel are garbage. Oh well.

Photo of bigkingken
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with a healthy head on top that slowly dissipates to a decent size. Slightly hazy in appearance. Lots of aroma coming out of the top. Citrus notes highlighted with orange and grapefruit, and a subtle backdrop of pine. Medium everything in the taste department. A good amount of bitterness offset by a good amount of malt – nothing too strong going on. Well balanced. Grapefruit dominates a slightly acidic and bitter overall profile. Leaves a bit of bitterness behind, but nothing uncomfortable. Hits its mark. Looking for an all-day drinking IPA that won’t kill the palette or make anyone too drunk, this is it. But as an IPA, it lacks character.

Photo of BradDurbin89
4.88/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured Wanderer Session IPA from a 12oz bottle to standard pint glass. It pours a slight ruby amber and golden color with a nice, frothy head that is two fingers and has great retention.

The nose is very nice, floral and pine and even a bit of sweetness. I prefer a bigger nose, but it is very pleasant.

There is a great citrus and floral flavor and I even pick up a bit of grapefruit and lemon. There is a subtle malt taste that compliments and balances this beer. Nice hop finish.

This beer has a very light mouthfeel, which I believe is the idea in this Session IPA. Great carbonation.

Overall, I love this beer. I've been waiting for a beer with these hop characteristics, but with lighter body and lower alcohol. I will drink this beer regularly. I see that it is a seasonal. I will have to stock up.

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a squat 12 oz bottle with a sparse label bearing a a date of April 13, 2011.

Pours a slighty cloudy amber, with a frothy, bubbly head that reduces leaving spiderweb lacing.

Has an aggressive citrus aroma, with plenty of grapefruit and orange notes. Mild sweet malt rounds out the aroma.

Taste is simple; dry hops up front with a bitter citrus finish. White grapefruit dominates the taste, from start to finish, with only a hint of sweet caramel malt that hints mid-tongue.

Light bodied, with a bitter, astringent gripping of the tongue that, frankly, surprises me given its low ABV and age.

This beer is advertised as a session IPA, and reminds me of Founder's Endurance. The flavor and feel of this beer is amazing, given how low the ABV is. Forget your typical session ale; this is a session ale to grab if you're sitting down for a game of cards, or an evening with friends.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy golden orangish apricot in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation slowly rising from the bottom of the glass and some faint golden yellow + orange highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy sudsy beige head that slowly reduces to a large thick patch that almost resembles sea scum and a mottled very thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer as well as a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of biscuit and caramel malts with a moderate amount of sweetness with a light to moderate aroma of citrus/grapefruit and citrus/grapefruit zest hops.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of slightly sweet grainy malts with some hints of caramel. There is a slightly stronger flavor of hops - citrus/grapefruit and citrus/grapefruit zest that contribute a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp upfront with a slightly thin/watery mid-body and light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable, definitely a nice example of a session summer IPA. I could easily have a couple of these on a warm summer night. Nice citrus flavors and not as sweet as the smell might hint at.

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle a clear deep orange color with one finger of rich off-white head. A good amount of sticky lacing left behind.

The aroma was fairly light with a bit of orange and light, light malts.

Tasted of baby aspirin. light caramel malts with light bitterness towards the finish

Medium bodied and wet with a lighter carbonation.

More of a pale ale versus an IPA. Average at best.

Photo of Ryan011235
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 4/25/11

Bottled April 13, 2011

Paled and faded amber with some haziness. Two finger cap of foam is halved after a few minutes, eventually leaving 1/8th inch layer of foam. A few bubbly clumps of lace cling to the glass and compound throughout.

Boasting spicy, zesty citrus notes, the aroma is appealing. Grapefruit, lemon zest, orange pith and a nip or two of pine. Though it's tipped in favor of the hops, malts offer a toasted bread and biscuit counterpoint. Citric aromas smell ripe, especially after it opens up. The second pour smells a tad doughy.

I was kind of afraid that the aroma would be the high point and it is. Though it doesn't taste bad, Wanderer doesn't have the same depth once it hits the palate. Sharp grapefruit and lemon notes lead off, dry pine picks up in the mid-section and the latter half is nearly astringent with the bitterness. The malts are dry too; toasted bread and crackers.

Leaning toward the lighter side of medium body. Carbonation is too high for my liking; in conjunction with the prickly aspects of the flavor profile the overall perception is harsh. Finishes with fine resin and lingering bitterness.

Despite some of the brash aspects this beer could be a lot worse. It's drinkable enough that I won't mind finishing the bottle. Not as good as Vicious but much better than Diabolical (rating this as an IPA as opposed to APA). I won't be in a hurry to get it again but it'll do in a pinch.

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this, Bobby.

A: The pour is a somewhat cloudy orange-amber color with a finger of white head.

S: Starts off with some sweet fruits, most notably bit tropical fruits. There is also the obligatory grapefruit and citrus notes. It's pretty "sticky" and sweet with some sugar and bread. There are also some floral and grass hop notes.

T: The flavor opens up with a numbe of different hop flavors, but it's mostly grass, citrus peel, and grapefruit. There is a very mild pineapple flavor along with the sweet malt and sugar flavors. Just a light hop bitterness.

M: The body is light with medium carbonation.

O: Had some aspects, but it was also a bit underwhelming overall.

Photo of flexabull
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of jrallen34, thanks again!

Pours a hazy light amber color with a pretty nice head.

Aromas are of hard candies, light citrus, some oranges, hints of pine, and grapefruits.

Taste is bitter up front, pine like, with some mineral and ground aspirin like flavors. There some faint tartness, light cream, and hints of bread. Finish is bitter, with some pine notes.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, nice body, smooth, and well rounded.

Overall this is a pretty good beer. I think the bitterness is a bit strong, and unbalanced, but this is still tasty, especially considering the ABV. However, this needs some balance to be really good.

Photo of kohoutek
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 4/3/11 (20 days old).

Bottles purchased at the Prospect party store (Ypsilanti, MI).

This beer pours a very nice orange/amber color with a frothy white head (a harbinger of the hoppiness that is sure to follow). The head settles into a creamy mix of large bubbles and some fine lace. There is some chill haze at first which disappears with warming. This beer is definitely unfiltered.

The aroma of this beer is dominated by hops. Aromas of spicy, citrus hops, lemon, geranium leaf, strawberry, mango, pineapple, a hint of earthen grass, some caramel toffee/crystal malt notes manage to fight through the hops.

Flavors mimic aromas with the addition of a huge herbaceous hop flavor that is heavy on green chlorophyll notes. Almost like sucking on a hop cone. Malt notes truly are buried. This is one hoppy mother!

Overall, this beer is very dry and quite bitter. IMO, I believe it would benefit from additional malt profile, less attenuation and/or a slightly lower IBU presence.

I really am a fan of this style. I regularly brew American Bitter (which is the baby/session IPA style). It is really exciting to have access to this style commercially, especially with it being so fresh. I have always liked Stone's Levitation, but after the long distribution trip it is rarely very fresh here in the midwest.

Photo of Tone
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

Pours a cloudy, golden color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of strong resin, strong hop, hint of pine, sweet malt, and a hint of yeast. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Strong bitterness as well. Tastes of strong resin, strong hop, hint of pine, sweet malt, and a hint of yeast. Overall, good appearance, aroma, too bitter, and low complexity.

Photo of EricCioe
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours an ultra-hazy deep orange with a one finger white head that dies down to a thin film with no lace. On the nose the malt backbone is evident, a mixture of caramel and biscuit in that order. Around that are the hop flavors, largely resin but also orange peel. The nose is very well-balanced, more pale ale than IPA to me. In the mouth, there are oranges and grapefruits up top riding over bread and caramel lower down. It's definitely bitter, but the the malts do a good deal to balance this out. The body is pretty light, making for easy drinking, but the finish is long. Normally this is fine but here it gets a bit raucous at the end, a detriment for me.

Overall, this is a nice brew. This is the third North Peak brew I've had, after the Diabolical and Burly Belgo IPAs. This is a nice brewery when it comes to hops, maybe not world class, but certainly doing very good beers in the pale ale realm. I'll look into their other stuff based on the strength of these three.

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Wanderer Session India Pale Ale from North Peak Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.