Evil Twin Brewing Stratford, CT
Citra Sunshine Slacker
The name was too apt not to try; having slacked off for 692 days, I’m in need of inspiration. The stylized geometric Lebowski on the can helps too.
Crystal clear golden straw color with a crackling snow white head. Fine pearl strands wind up the glass keeping the froth rocky. The nose is fresh cut sativa and grass, with a touch of over-ripe orange. The mouthfeel starts with that effervescence skittering across the palate, opens up wide, then thins out in a wave of bitters. The flavor starts tart and citrus, blending and evening out a bit before dissipating into a slightly vegetal tang. A few more sips help even things out and the bubbles take on a hand-pulled quality. It’s a good session beer albeit one that tries to clone the effect of an IPA rather than settle for its own profile. Sessions have become their own thing, mimicking English cask pales more than their overblown American counterparts. This one abides.
Cottrell Brewing Co.
Mystic Bridge IPA
Having spent many a long weekend with friends in Mystic looking at this IPA’s eponymous bridge, I have high hopes. Also, CT breweries are relatively few, so it’s exciting to try the one that lays claim to “the oldest continuously brewed and bottled beer in CT”. Murky syntax aside, this brewery has been going since way back when in 1996.
The pour proffers a hazy, dense, ruddy toffee color, like the dark interior pulp of a pumpkin, or a baked yam. Poured into an etched-bottom glass, the beer’s extra fine carbonation rushes through the haze to build up a delicate cappuccino-foam head.
The nose sparkles with a combination of bitter and sweet. A breakfast cornucopia of cantaloupe and grapefruit intimates a strong hop presence, while sweet, syrupy pancakes hint at a good malt backbone.
The mouthfeel is good – almost very good. Tart grapefruit pulp and bitter orange rind hit first, followed up rapidly by the quiet footsteps of slightly stale brown bread. That pitter-patter quickly recedes while slightly under-ripe cantaloupe shows up, ultimately leaving the palate sere and smooth as a coral beach.
Overall, this beer is as dense and lovely as it looks. The bitterness will sate most hopheads, but it’s not an overwhelming wallop. There is a lot of malt body here and a few of these will fill you up in a hurry. Certainly worth a go, and a nice one to enjoy in front of a fire during a New England winter night.