Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cottrell Mystic Bridge IPA

Happy International IPA Day! Yeah I think these "beer holidays" are kind of silly since EVERYDAY is a beer celebration day at my house. But anyway, I know most people will probably be reviewing a big deal, highly-acclaimed IPA today, but I decided to go in the opposite direction. I'm taking the opportunity to review a standard IPA from a small brewery in Connecticut. AND I'm "phoning it in" by doing this review at the webcam instead of using my regular camera.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (642) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 3, 2011
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark, opaque orange/light brown color. Forms a small, yellow, sudsy head although it retains and laces quite well.

Smell: Mostly pine sap, some confectionary sweetness, a little sourness as well (the bottle was a month out from expiration).

Taste: I fully support smaller craft breweries, and I’m assuming Cottrell is rather small since I’ve never heard of them until recently. However, if a brewery like this is going to stand out they need to make more than a cookie cutter IPA. Mystic Bridge is basically the East Coast IPA cliche: sitcky, sappy pine resin up front, a quick burst of dry bitterness through the middle, and a finish of caramel sweetness on the end. I also get a noticeable sour tang to the palate, which leads me to believe my bottle is quite old. Regardless, there’s still plenty of genuine flavor left but what’s here is pretty standard. There’s nothing repulsive or off-putting about it at all. In fact, the pine taste and bitterness is solid and satisfactory for an IPA, but there’s no "wow factor" at all.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied all around, slightly dry aftertaste. Not quite crisp, not quite tepid.

Drinkability: For a standard American IPA, Mystic Bridge also drinks as such. Sure it’s plenty hoppy and bitter, but nothing close to extreme. Much more in the sessionable IPA category at 6% ABV, although the bitterness seems to increase the more I drink.

Overall, Mystic Bridge IPA is a fine beer and a decent IPA, but it’s a little too standard for my preference. Newcomers would probably enjoy this a lot more than veteran hopheads.

Grade: 6/10

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