Have you ever had beer from a company that you really wanted to like but for some reason didn’t? I have previously had this relationship with Sixpoint Brewing Co. A couple of months ago I went to the local store to do my weekly tasting. The weekly tasting tends to go one of two ways. They either figure out how to put it together on their own using the exciting beers they have gotten into the store that week, or they have a rep in the store and feature one brewery. I have managed to find my way to a few of the ones done by the reps, and I was definitely really interested in seeing what Sixpoint had to offer. The can tells me they have been around since 2004; however, it only became available around here last year. Therefore, my beer store had a rep in as fast as possible. Doing the tasting, I was unhappy with what I was getting. I really really wanted to like Sixpoint, but I wasn’t impressed. So, I’ve kind of written them off since then. I’ve wanted to go back and try a whole can, but I always find myself buying something else. Then, not to long ago, they released their imperial IPA. As a real sucker for IPAs, I had to give them another shot. Thankfully my beer store split up the pack so I could just buy one can, but I may have to head back for more after this tasting.
Sixpoint has a somewhat familiar and yet still different story to a lot of other breweries out there. They started their brewery back in 2004, but like a lot of companies, they need to grow before they could expand. So, they weren’t really distributing their stuff very far at the beginning. They weren’t even doing anything past putting their beer in kegs and sending it out to local bars. This of course frustrated a lot of locals who had to get their growlers filled at local bars to enjoy their creation at home. Thankfully, this past year they started canning and distributing their brew further than their local Brooklyn NY neighborhood.
Like I said earlier, I was pretty much attracted to this one for the imperial IPA aspect. It says it has 103 IBUs with 9.1% ABV. This was only helping to make the beer sound even more interesting to me. Finally, looking at the back of the can, their message had me sold. It reads, “Whatever flames upon the night mans own resinous heart has fed. Resin is the sticky quintessence of hops that quells the encroaching malt sweetness”. Maybe it sounds a little to poetic to be on the back of a beer can, but I personally think it gives me a great idea of the flavor profile they were attempting to achieve. I was excited to get my first whole can of Sixpoint open and in a glass!
This one pours out a nice reddish-orange auburn color. I’ve come to really like seeing this darker tinting for IPAs. It typically signals a beer that is a little more developed, tangy, and less piney. There is a moderate white fluffy head that develops on top of the beer, and you get a ton of really long lasting lacing that sticks to the sides of the glass. Swirling the glass leaves the sticky residue and lacing on the side of the glass for nearly the rest of the tasting. There is a lot of haziness in the glass that keeps me from really getting a feel for the carbonation, but you can see some of it react to the agitation of a little swirl.
The first smell to come off the beer is big tangy orangey citrus scent. I really like the fact that the tang is present on the nose here. The hops definitely come through on the nose as well. The hops have a separate piney and floral aroma. I typically get a lot of the tang and hops together when it comes to an imperial IPA. The beer gives off a really herbal and earth aroma, and you get some overall rich maltiness as well.
I immediately get a big flavor of both strong hops and malts here. The beer starts with some really big bold sweet malty flavors. The malt flavors are followed with a lot of citrus and orange flavoring. The citrus flavors are a really interesting transition point from the malts to the big hit of hops. The hops come in really big and piney. They begin to move from piney and floral to tangy as they sit on your palate. That tangy hop flavor is one that I’m hoping to really duplicate in my own homebrew next. The finish here is filled with lingering hop tang and citrusy grapefruit.
This beer has a really nice blend of carbonation and syrup. The carbonation starts out the tasting while the syrupy nature kicks in at the same time as the tangy flavor of the hops. I think the tang and the syrup really work to compliment each other. The flavors all work really well together; however, I do find the lingering hops on the aftertaste off putting after a period of time. I do still really like the hops overall.
This is the first full can I’ve ever had from Sixpoint Brewing Co, and I’m really happy with it. They pack a lot of flavor, besides hops, into the little energy drink looking can. This convinces me that I need to give some of their other brews another chance. I may have jumped to conclusions based off a quick little tasting. If you haven’t noticed these cans in your area, you should definitely check your local store and see if they sell them there. They make a really good imperial IPA for sure!
Teacher Grade: B+