So now for the big hitters from Sixpoint, one of which I never actually had the chance to try whilst out in New York.
But let's start with the beer I did drink in New York, a lot. It's a great beer that's got loads going on but still manages to be relatively balanced and drinkable, and which was, to my massive surprise, available by the poolside at our hotel in Manhattan (swanky hotel bagged for a steal from booking.com).
Righteous Ale - Rye Ale
The Aroma is sweet with citrusy hops vying for attention alongside spicy brown bread, burnt sugar, and even a touch of fruity espresso coffee.
The flavour is a great. It's just got everything. Red hard candy sweetness before a heavy hit of hops, then an earthy spicy brown bread flavour from that big dose of rye - and yet the finish is clean, dry, and citrus bitter. As you acclimatise to the beer you get sparks of citrus peel, spiced orange, and fresh spruce.
It's a beer which takes you all over the place in terms of flavour and then comes right back round to the centre: At once bittersweet, clean and dry.
The daddy of the range and the beer style upon which every American craft brewer likes to flex their hop shovelling muscles. Sixpoint's take on an Imperial/Double American IPA weighs in at a now par for the course 9.1%, a very respectable IBU of 103, and is sensibly served in a slightly smaller, slender 12oz can.
This pours a very similar bright orange to the Bengali, but is perhaps just a shade darker. The aroma surprised me. It's a big hit of mango and orange rather than the pine resin I was expecting. Though after a few swirls some fresh pine does waft through.
The flavour is resinous (as the name rather than the aroma suggests) with oily bitter citrus hops, but is certainly not as punishing as I was expecting. Perhaps the can is a touch too cold having come straight from the fridge...
Those hops start to hit you. Once the first few swallows of those lupulin luvvlies fill all the gaps in your mouth and your palate realises whats going on you really get a full on hop hit.
It smacks you round the chops with a bag of fresh hops, then smashes a bottle of hop oil over your head releasing grapefruit, spruce, mint, tangerine, mango, and of course pine resin.
In other words, I'm glad a bought more than one. This little bugger gives a few light jabs to lull you into a false sense of security then knocks you out with a big right hook from nowhere.
Click here to read my thoughts on Bengali, Sweet Action and Brownstone from Sixpoint.
Sixpoint Brewery Part Two: Resin and Righteous
Sixpoint Brewery Part Two: Resin and Righteous Reviewed by Neil, Eating isn't Cheating on Friday, November 16, 2012 Rating: 5