Anyone who really knows me, knows that I am originally from Jersey and even at times have Jersey pride. It does pain me to see my already picked on state become an even bigger joke as Italian idiots become the biggest celebrities ever produced in the Garden State. However, I have hopes that the state where I learned to love pizza, bagels, and jug handles will one day regain some semblance of respect. That much needed rant of course brings me to my latest beer for reviewing.
Flying Fish is out of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and their Exit series deals with one of the two biggest roads in all of NJ: The New Jersey Turnpike. This particular exit has a little more meaning for me, as it is the same one I took every time I went to visit my now wife in Pennsylvania. That is before I found a better route taking exit 6. Fortunately for me there is an Exit 6 that I guess I’ll be trying one of these days. The Exit Series is used to brew unique beers that are as different and interesting as those people who live off those exits. They have a website where you can make suggestions for future beers in the Exit Series. Now that I live in Washington DC, I am holding out for an Exit 10 since that is the one I take every time I go visit my parents.
Flying Fish has one of the more interesting stories of origin I’ve come across. Gene Mueller decided in 1995 to use a then, and maybe now, unconventional tool to start his business: the internet. He allowed people to see the inner workings of his brewery. He gave people the chance to help name beers, design labels and tee-shirts, sign up for tasting, and even apply for potential brewing jobs. It was a gigantic cyber leap in that day and age.
Aside from this beer being from my home state, it also has one of the more interesting qualifiers. It states that it is an American Trippel. Now I’ve had plenty of American beer, and I have also enjoyed quite a few Belgian Trippels; however, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed the combo.
Pouring this one out results in a light copper hue. It really doesn’t create a whole lot of head; however, a little swirl of the glass results in a little sticky residue that lasts on the side of the glass. Swirling doesn’t result in a whole lot of head, but just enough to get a feel that this one may be somewhat carbonated, although, not heavily. The smell of it is a little hoppy and earthy at the same time. There is some citrus scent there, and yet, being that it is called an American Trippel, I really don’t pull out the same type of heavy citrus notes you get from the Belgian trippel. There is a very earthy feel to the smell of it as well.
Tasting wise, there is a slight little citrus taste that comes through at the start. This quickly dissipates and leads to some very strong hops taste right in the middle. This is fairly shocking as most trippels don’t have a heavy taste of hops in them. However, the hops are definitely huge in the middle of this beer. The beer finishes with a rather earthy and malty feel to it. There is a huge lingering hop taste to the end of the beer as well. It is hard for me to buy this as a trippel at all. This really finishes far too bitter for it to be considered a true trippel. Looking at what the Flying Fish site says, this beer has been brewed in the traditional Belgian Trippel style, but has been hopped with American hops. So essentially this creates a pretty interesting trippel and IPA crossbreed.
Mouth feel, doesn’t really have a lot of carbonation to start off. There is some carbonation that lingers on the tongue after tasting. There is a definite alcohol feel to this one. It doesn’t come off terribly boozy, but there is a pretty significant feel of alcohol that come through. I think it has a very nice balance to it. It leaves a slightly bitter hoppy taste in the mouth, but if you love IPA’s you’ll actually be pretty happy.
I’m torn on how to ultimately describe this beer. They call it an American Trippel which I suppose means that it is a trippel and American IPA cross. However, I think this maybe should have just called a Belgian IPA. Naming aside, I think this is a really good beer. I love hoppy beers and Belgian beers, so this beer makes me pretty happy. If you’re looking to try something a little unexpected, but great, give this one a try. You won’t be disappointed you ventured into this fine beer from the Garden State.
Teacher Grade: B