Beer Of The Week: How good is Oskar Blues 100-calorie hazy IPA?

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Graphic: Karl Gustafson

Call it the Michelob Ultra effect. More craft breweries are touting their beers that clock in around 100 calories: Odell, New Belgium, Dogfish Head, Boulevard, and many more have jumped on the trend. As a fan of Oskar Blues other hoppy offerings like Dale’s Pale Ale and Pinner, I wanted to taste the brewery’s new year-round interpretation of a low-cal hazy IPA. Would One-y be money?

The brewery acknowledges that this a tall order, stating in its announcement of the beer that “cultivating huge, hazy, hoppy flavor without the calorie count of a typical IPA presented a new challenge for the Oskar Blues team.” I worried the beer might taste too thin, like an unsuccessful session IPA, when much of the appeal of hazy IPAs is in their soft, fuller texture.

I needn’t have worried. One-y has all the aromatic wallop of a good hazy IPA, thanks to a combination of El Dorado, Comet, Citra, Mosaic, and French Aramis hops: sweet onion, orange marmalade, and raspberry notes swirl off the pour. Flavorwise, blueberry and mandarin orange lead the sip, followed by an earthier onion/chive hop flavor before the swallow finishes with melon and lime. It’s a dynamic parade of hop facets, successfully weaving tropical fruit and allium flavors together like a fresh mango salsa.

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The beer’s body isn’t as full as most standard hazy IPAs, but that’s to be expected. It sits somewhere above a typical session IPA—not too thin, but not exactly full or pillowy soft. There’s still a bit of pleasant creaminess to the finish that keep it from feeling too light.

One-y packs in plenty of hop aroma and flavor, but its appeal will depend on whether the 100-calorie count matters to you. If beer aroma, flavor, and texture trump any dietary considerations, then there’s probably a more delicious IPA out there for you. But if you’re trying to stick to a diet or just consume fewer calories from beer, you could do a lot worse than One-y.

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Have a beer you think should we should consider for inclusion in an upcoming Beer Of The Week column? Email details to beer@thetakeout.com.