Tag Archives: New York

Sixpoint Righteous Ale

Six Point Brewery
Brooklyn New York
Righteous Ale
6.3% ABV / 57 IBU

I don’t usually include the ABV or IBU, but since they are so keen to include it on the can (along with SRM, no less), I figured I’d add it. Six Point has found their stride with recipes, and with their new can design branding, it looks good too.

The pour is surprisingly quiet though with a little help, a frothy faintly beige head emerges, maintaining at a half inch.

The clarity is low, but the beer is murky, not opaque. Reddish-brown mahogany and cherry wood colors predominate, letting some amber light through. It’s basically like an Irish setter, but it smells better.

The nose has a heavy wort grain aroma – rich and oaty with a bitter pop like an ESB. That segues into the hops, which are resinous and herbal, but not overly floral. The mouthfeel is good (though I think I poured this particular can when it was too cold). The woodsy hop character shows up gradually atop the palate, spreading outward with peppery rye and some clean lemongrass. A green apple skin tartness is accompanied by brown sugar maltiness.

The beer never cloys, but the finish has a slightly dank cling that hopheads and ale lovers will recognize and adore. The rye is relatively quiet, so it comes across more as an APA – and a good one – but I was expecting just a little more twang from the malt.


Saranac White IPA

A guest review from Max – plus a new “Limited Release” tag and category!

Matt Brewing Co.
Utica, NY
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!

Empire IPA

Empire Brewing Co.
Syracuse, NY

No bottle photo here – I picked up a growler at my friendly neighborhood bottle shop, the new and awesome City Swiggers. Having a local  beer shop like this is something I’d only dreamed of while I schlepped to the Lower East Side or even the outer boroughs to find my specialty bottles. So, thanks to City Swiggers for, y’know, existing.

A crackling, orange-tinted head fluffs up, clinging to the sides of the glass. Almost perfect clarity shows sparse, slow carbonation. The color of burnt sand in the afternoon sun, this beer has an orange blush to it with a touch of dun.

The nose has sticky and resinous grapefruit and passion fruit notes, and a touch of mango. The mouthfeel is full, with that hop stickiness overwhelming the breath of creamy malt. Mostly under-ripe grapefruit dries out the middle of the tongue, while the softer tropical fruits spread out and back across the palate.

It’s certainly a hop-forward IPA for lupulin fanatics, but the finish is slightly more cloying – sticky, really – than expected. If the finish were a bit more sere, I’d rave about this one, but it just misses on the finish.

And in case you were wondering: yes, I did finish the whole growler after the Giants won the NFC Championship game.

Lake Placid Ubu Ale

Lake Placid Brewing Co.
Utica, NY
Ubu Ale

As evidenced by the Lake Placid URL, it is clear this is the flagship brew. Advertised as an English-style ale, it seems like it’s going to be a take on those flattish British brews. However, a dense head the color (and size) of toasted marshmallows inflates quickly, and subsides slowly, leaving craggy lacing down the sides.

The color is nearly entirely opaque. It’s not quite black, but really a dense garnet that issues just the slightest cola-brown tints at the edges. The nose is perfectly balanced. Malt comes through as slightly powdery cocoa with a touch of baking bread. The hops are slightly citric along with some faint pine.

The mouthfeel is excellent – very full with fine carbonation. The first part of the sip is perfectly smooth, but roasted flavors come out without adding any char bitterness. That transitions into some resinous pine hop notes that are combined with a touch of grapefruit. There is no metallic unevenness, nor twang of alcohol. This is an awesomely even brew.

Lake Placid IPA

Lake Placid Brewing Co.
Utica, NY
India Pale Ale

The beer pours with decent clarity, through which steady streams of fine effervescence can be seen heading up to the surface to help bolster the already frothy beige head. The color is deep amber with toffee brown highlights.

Lake Placid IPAPungent, resinous piney aromas mingle with some very tart citrus notes. Hopheads will get fired up delving into the miasma of hops emanating from the glass.

The mouthfeel is excellent and expectedly hop-forward. The hops come together without zapping the tongue, and veer more towards the woodier pine flavors than any citrus fruit. There is a very subtle malt presence that helps to even out the swallow along the sides of the tongue but, ultimately, the finish is green and tart and gives a hint of the nearly 7% ABV that lurks behind what is otherwise a well-balanced, though certainly hoppy, brew.

Saranac India Copper Ale

Matt Brewing Co.
Utica NY
Saranac India-style Copper Ale

A rocky head emerges out of the bottle – off-white with just a hint of yellow and orange – and it exhales quickly, dropping down towards the top of the brew. That brew is deep mahogany and more red than brown, darker than amber or copper, and the clarity is low. It is translucent, but by no means clear.Saranac Copper

The nose is a nice chalky mix of grassy yet earthy malts that exude a bit of sweetness and hops. The malt is subtly sweet, allowing the green florals of the hops to emerge and complement that grainy background.

The mouthfeel is full and immediately even. Hops kick in first, biting into the tastebuds a bit with some tart citrus that is strong but is not astringent. The malt body soon comes forward, evening things out across the tongue with a sourdough tartness and chewiness. However, right at the end, that sourdough just becomes sour leaving a flavor like Pine-Sol in the mouth.

I ran into this issue with Saranac’s Rye IPA so I hope it’s my problem and not there. The way the label boasts that this is a malty take on a classic IPA makes me want something more akin to a Cascade Dark/Black IPA, or even a hopped-up amber like Boulder’s Flashback. Not what I was expecting though the aftertaste that I found bracing gets milder with each sip.

He’Brew Hop Manna

Schmaltz Brewing Co.
Saratoga Springs, NY
He’Brew Hop Manna IPA

Love the folks at Schmaltz – they make great beer, aren’t afraid of taking chances, and manage to do it all without taking themselves too seriously. This brew is made with Warrior, Northern Brewer, Cascade, Amarillo, Crystal, Fuggle, and Golding AND is dry-hopped with the Cascade, Crystal, and Amarillos.

Not much head appears on the pour, but what does show up is cloud white and looks just as soft. The beer is straw gold with a honey quality to it that belies its crystal clarity. That clarity shows slow, sparse effervescence chugging up to the surface, keeping a clingy halo at the mouth of the glass.

The nose is not as aggressive as the seven hops may initially indicate, but Fuggle and Golding are much subtler than Cascade or Amarillo. What you get is a really nice medley of soft aromas. There is citrus, naturally, but that grapefruit spray emerges slowly behind a powdery floral bouquet of paperwhite, lavender, as well as some pine sap that masks just a bit of bready malt. Great stuff.

The mouthfeel excellent, accelerating from a surprisingly bubbly front and spreading out like a meadow. The hops hit immediately – bitter citrus first, then the wafting, rosy florals, and finally just a slightly metallic tobacco touch at the end. The malt is not apparent immediately, but the lack of any sere, saliva-sapping aridity shows that there is more balance than you might think.

Sixty-five IBUs is a lot, but not a ton, and this beer is an easy-going 6.8% that’s going to please any hophead. It’s hop-forward, to be sure, but Schmaltz has done a wonder here by creating a ‘big’ beer that is not going to be undrinkable for those who don’t have a sense of humulus. Nice stuff.