Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Kill Ugly Radio Double IPA
This sucker has been rattling around in my collection for years. I probably should have cracked it open a couple of years ago, but there’s no time like the present, so no sense in waiting any longer.
The pour starts without much head, but a slightly yellowed froth flexes a bit before settling to a lace. The clarity is initially impeccable, though the latter half of the bottle has sediment, with sparse carbonation (probably due to some slow seepage or cap decay). The color is burnished copper in the middle – a real shiny penny glow – with some soft caramel orange around the sides.
The nose is a surprisingly malty, with rich molasses coming forward, but soon giving way to overripe apricot and dried pineapple aromas. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light and not at all cloying or burly, as the ABV might indicate. A very even grassy twang hits, before pine and tobacco cross the middle of the palate. The finish rolls into dry apple skins and there is a breath of alcohol, but no wallop despite expectations.
This bottle has been cellared for at least four years, and it’s pretty mellow for what I was expecting to be a pretty bold brew. Certainly, a maximum of three years in the dark would have been better than the 50 months I unintentionally gave it, but it goes to show that Lags constructs hardy beers.
A guest review from Max – plus a new “Limited Release” tag and category!
Matt Brewing Co.
Saranac White IPA
There seem to be so many IPAs at one’s finger tips today that one might
think the beer industry has come to target only hop heads. This isn’t a bad
thing, mind you, but it is rare to find a really good hoppy IPA that tastes
different from, well, a really good hoppy IPA. Batter up, Saranac White
IPA. What drew me to this beer was essentially the fusion of two of my
faves: a citra hops IPA and a Belgian-style white. The results had the
potential to delight, but you never know with seasonals, because if they
bomb they are only around for a few months.
The pour unleashes a powerful head similar to that of a Boddingtons, the cascading abruptly ceases (note the glass here) and you are left with a beautiful orange-ocher haze. Don’t try and stare down this lady, she, like most women are tough to see through and patience will serve you best as you make your way through the aroma which, like most analysis of this beer, is refined citrus. The most prevalent smell is grapefruit, then grass.
The mouthfeel takes you on a wild ride starting with a blast of citrus, however the infusion of 2 Row, Wheat, and Oat malts, tone down the hop as the backside of the taste releases an array of spicy vanilla and coriander (Saranac also uses 2 Row malt in it’s Vanilla Stout).
There is a wonderful duality between these different styles, they harmonize
when they need to and clash at just the right moments. This is certainly
one of the most refreshing IPAs I’ve ever tried and I would be very happy to
see a re-release in time for grilling season. While hardly a session beer at
6%, I drank three in 20 minutes after the Giants won the NFC championship
with no problem!
Posted in Beer Review, Guest Review, IPA, Limited Release, Max, New Brew, New York, Seasonal, U.S. and A, Wheat/White
Tagged Beer Review, Guest Review, IPA, Limited Release, Max, New York, seasonal, Wheat/White