Aroma: Resiny and grassy hops, and nice malt balance.
Appearance: Copper in color, small head.
Flavor: Citrus and grapefruit hop flavor, slight malt balance, and a nice citrus hop finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium/light bodied, nice carbonation.
Overall: Not bad for an IPA. Pretty strong hop profile and bitterness, but without some of the more prolific grass and citrus flavors in some other IPAs. It’s not bad, but was hoping for better aromas and balance.
Aroma: Hints of lemon, grapefruit and banana. Nice fruity aroma but not too intense.
Appearance: Pours a hazy gold, very small white head (could’ve been a glassware issue).
Flavor: Fruity up front, banana with a fairly strong wheat and tart/hop finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium light body, nice carbonation.
Overall: Nice aroma, fairly tart and bitter flavors for a wheat beer, which was somewhat unexpected. Not sure I really dig this as a summer style. The flavor is just a little hard to get used to and too intense for a summer beer.
Pistil, Magic Hat Brewing Company
Herbed/Spiced Beer, 4.50 %ABV
Aroma: Grassy, fruity and lemony, sweet on the back.
Appearance: Light, clear golden, small head of white foam.
Flavor: Nice light hops up front, hint of sweetness and malts and a grassy finish. Not as much fruity taste as the nose would suggest.
Mouthfeel: Incredibly light, carbonation isn’t low, but not too intense. Feels very airy.
Overall: Definitely a summer session beer, but I think it lacks a little in flavor. I could drink a bunch on a hot day but my palette would probably prefer something else with a little more profile. For the ABV, not a bad effort.
So yeah, long hiatus due to moving, travel, and dissertation research. But I’m back and I’ve got a summer sampler of Magic Hat so I’m diving in and the next few reviews will be from that pack. I assume most East Coast crafties have had #9 before, but since I’m trying to document everything and I haven’t reviewed this yet, here it goes. Plus, the Artifactory is like the Willy Wonka version of a brewery, so you owe it to yourself to visit.
Aroma: Strong presence of fruit, apricot, hint of lemon.
Appearance: Pours clear gold with a wonderfully large head of white foam. Excellent lacing.
Flavor: Apricot up front, followed by a nice citrus hop flavor, and then a slightly sweet and fruity finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light body, nice carbonation, smooth but not slick.
Overall: It bills itself as a “not quite pale ale” but the beer world classifies it as a fruit beer with the pale ale as the underlying trait. For that style, I think it’s a pretty solid example. The fruit might be too aggressive for some seeking more hops and pale ale traits, but to me the profile fits Magic Hat’s billing. At 5.1% it’s a solid summer session beer.
My last encounter with Erie wasn’t quite what I expected, but since I believe you should try everything twice, I opted to check out their IPA. Here it is, the Misery Bay IPA from Erie Brewing Company.
Aroma: Citrusy hops, with almost a hint of sweet chocolate malts.
Appearance: Pours golden amber, almost no head.
Flavor: Grassy hop taste, warming alcohol, with some earthy malt and a nice, full and bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation, medium-bodied.
Overall: Odd aromas to this beer out of the bottle, but the taste is really nice. The lack of a head is disappointing though, although maybe it’s an aspect of my glass. Aside from the appearance aspect, this is a pretty nice IPA.
Wisconsin, the home of the brewers, and I don’t just mean the baseball team. It’s got a LOT of breweries, some of them making very good beers. And so we dive back into IPA season with the IPA from Lakefront Brewery.
American India Pale Ale, 6.9 % ABV
Aroma: Great hop aroma, with hint of grass and malts.
Appearance: Pours golden/copper in color, clear, with an off-white head of foam. Nice lacing on the glass.
Flavor: Nice hop profile, piney essence to it that is balanced on the end with malts and a trailing very nice bitter hop finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, coats the mouth well with nice carbonation that I’d expect from an IPA.
Overall: Pretty solid IPA. The nose doesn’t linger too strong, the alcohol is present but not overwhelming. For a hop head, it’s got a great profile and solid taste. A very nice/great example of the American IPA style.