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Featured Reviews - July 2011 Archives

Sixpoint Review #3 - The Crisp
Posted Friday, July 29th, 2011 by Tip Top

Well, vacation got in my way of getting these Sixpoint reviews done in a timely manner, so I figured I better get right back into them.  This time I'm reviewing The Crisp, a lager weighing in at 5.4% abv and 42 IBUs.  Forgive the picture from my much to messy desk with an empty from another night on it.

The pour produces a nice two inch thick head that is made up of loose foam.  Varying sized bubbles stick to the sides of the glass as the head subsides a bit.  Tons of tiny bubbles race to the surface on the golden brew.  Really nice looking beer.

Sweet malts combine with assertive grassy hop notes.  If I didn't know it by reading the 42 IBUs on the can, the aroma would tell me that this is going to be a beer that is more hop focused than many lagers out there.  Almost a bit of corn syrup sweetness to the smell.

Flavor is much more balanced than I thought it might be by the nose.  Malt and hops are working in pretty much perfect harmony.  Starts off with a moderate malt sweetness that has a touch of corn.  Hops quickly take over, bringing a bit of brashness to the picture.  Grassy and herbal.  Hops subside and give way to a subtle sweetness again, but this time with a bit of lingering bitterness on the back of my tongue.

Clean, refreshing and drinkable.  This is a perfect lawn mower beer.  Something you wouldn't tire of, but is really nice in its simplicity.


Sixpoint Review #2 - Sweet Action
Posted Friday, July 15th, 2011 by Tip Top

Sixpoint Sweet ActionThis is my second review this week of a Sixpoint beer, following Bengali Tiger a couple days ago. 

An aggressive pour produces about a quarter inch head of with foam made up of tight bubbles.  After a minute, it's a thin film on the surface with a sturdy ring around the glass.  The body is a nice orange hue with a bit of a chill haze to it.

Aroma is what I guess I should have expected from the name of the beer.  Malty sweetness with definite honey notes.  Light grassy bitterness.

Flavor expands on the aroma.  Starts off with sweet honey-like malt.  That stays a bit, but gives way to a surprising amount of citrusy hop flavors.  Hops turn to grassy bitterness, which take a hold of my tongue for a little while.  There is just a touch of piney hopes and a good amount of spiciness.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation.  It's neither thin, nor big and velvety.  Not biting carbonation, but not the big bubbles either.  Right in between, it compliments the beer well.

Overall, this is quite a nice beer.  I see this described as a Cream Ale and a Blonde Ale, but I'm not sure that it is either.  Not that style matters, but I would think this fits best as an amber ale.  Super sessionable and easy to drink, you might find yourself wanting more than a four pack of this one.



Sixpoint Review #1 - Bengali Tiger
Posted Monday, July 11th, 2011 by Tip Top

One of our members is now a brewery rep for Sixpoint.  Adam was good enough to send me a sampler of the recently released cans from the brewery.  This is my first review in what will be a four part series focused on Sixpoint.  Thanks Adam!

Bengali Tiger is the brewery's take on the American IPA.  It comes in at 6.4% abv, 62 IBUs and 13 SRM.  Here goes.

This IPA pours a nice orange color with a slight chill haze.  There is a stream of tiny bubbles rising up through the body, which helps to sustain the head.  Head poured about an inch of beige foam.  Thick and frothy, it had really good staying power.  After a couple minutes, there was a thin film covering the surface along with thick lacing covering the sides of the glass.  Lacing turns web-like as I empty the glass.

Smells wonderful.  Tropical and citrusy hops are highlighted by a sweet malt base.  Pine and grapefruit along with a little bit of spiciness.

The flavor really follows through from the aroma.  Starts off sweet, with both the hops and the malt starting things off.  Sweet malt combines with fruity hops.  Hops stay for a bit while the malt fades into the background, showing orange, grapefruit, and a bit of piney flavor.  All the sudden, it switches it up a bit and brings on a nice biting bitterness.  The bitterness isn't really brash or overpowering.  It pricks the tongue through the rest of this, well into the aftertaste.  A bit of a return of the malt sweetness happens as the bitterness is fading.

Mouthfeel is both creamy and prickly at the same time.  The body is nice and smooth, almost creamy, but at the same time, the carbonation is pricking at your tongue.  Carbonation is fine, with tiny bubbles helping accentuate the bitterness of the hops.  Finishes clean, even if the aftertaste stays in your mouth for almost a minute.

This is a really nicely crafted IPA.  Well balanced, but still highlights what an IPA should, the hops.  Easy enough to drink that I'm upset I only have one.  I would rank this among the best IPAs that the East Coast has to offer and overall it can hold it's own with the country's finest.  Well worth checking out.  I think once you give it a chance, you'll find yourself going back to the store for more.


New Belgium's Lips of Faith Imperial Berliner Style Weisse Ale
Posted Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 by Tip Top

NB Imp. Berliner WeissThanks go out to the brewery for sending me this bottle this week.  When I first found out about this beer coming out, I was cautiously optimistic.  I really love the style, but one of the really redeeming qualities is how drinkable and sessionable they are with the refreshing qualities and the low alcohol.  I was concerned that "Imperializing" the style would cut back at some of what I really loved about the beer.  On the other hand, they could end up enriching the flavors I love too.  Time to find out.

A very small, slightly off white head formed when I poured the beer, as you can see from the picture.  What is now left is just a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.  The body is a light, clean, golden color.

Smelling the brew brings back what I love about the style.  Nice wheat base that just seems to intensify the tartness laying underneath.  Some lactic aromas underneath.  Sour apple.

Flavor echoes what I got on the nose.  Light wheat base rings through the entire time this is on my tongue, intensifying a bit towards the end.  Tartness comes in right from up front, lasting for a couple seconds, before giving way to a bit of sweetness.  Green apple is there, but very light.

This one does drink much easier than you would expect from a 7% beer, but not quite as easily as a typical Berliner Weiss.  I guess that's pretty much what I would expect, though it might drink easier than I expected.

Very drinkable and pleasant beer.  Being a lover of sour beers, and knowing what New Belgium can do with sours, I was hoping there might be a little more tartness here.  It's on for the style, but the higher base seems to have made it a little more muted.  That said, I'm enjoying this thoroughly and will be happily polishing off the bottle.


Odell Woodcut No 04 Oak Aged Lager - Double Marzen-Style Lager
Posted Monday, June 7th, 2010 by Tip Top

Odell Woodcut 4 GlassIt's been what seems like forever since I have taken the time to write up a review.  The good people at Odell were good enough to send me this bottle, which compels me to give them the courtesy of writing up a review.  Thanks also to the good people at Original Gravity for passing my info along to Odell.  I really haven't read any opinions of this beer, which is always is a good thing when writing up an objective review.

From the literature that was sent along with the bottle, this is an Oak Aged Double Marzen-Style Lager weighing in at 11% abv.  It's the first of the Woodcut series to be a lager. 

Bottle 2528, bottled May of 2010.

Corked and caged in a champagne style bottle.  I've always favored the look of these.  Much more elegant than some of the other shaped beer bottles out there.  I know, who cares what the packaging looks like.  The beer.  The pour produces a healthy head that has to be about three inches tall.  It shows great staying power and is made up of uniform sized bubbles.  The body looks just like the glass above.  Amber colored and clean.

The aroma brings first caramel and toffee.  Hidden a little behind that are some of the wood characteristics.  Vanilla and a touch of toast. 

First take upon this hitting my lips is rich caramel.  This melds together with the toffee aroma that was detected earlier.  Midway through, I'm getting the vanilla, along with almond and just a touch of dates.  It's finished up with a bit of bitterness and some of that char from the oak.  Big and malty, there isn't much being shown by hops here and that's just fine.  Not everything needs to be a hop-bomb.  Let this one warm up a bit, as you will get richer, fuller flavors the closer you get to cellar temperature. 

The mouthfeel is smooth and almost creamy.  Carbonation and a bit of a prick to the tongue.  I can't even imagine how incredibly drinkable this would be on cask.  Very easy drinking for a beer tipping the scales in double digit abv.

Overall, a really nice example of a wood aged lager.  There just aren't enough beers like this, and that's a big reason that the masses of craft beer enthusiasts tend to gravitate towards the ales.  More big, rich, complex lagers would certainly challenge that way of thinking.  Do yourself a favor and get yourself a couple bottles of this one.

*Photo courtesy of the Odell Brewing Company website.