Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sixpoint Righteous Ale


This is something of a first. I shot back-to-back reviews (literally) with Simon and Mel better known as Mr. and Mrs. Real Ale Guide. AND we reviewed Sixpoint beers in each episode! But the Righteous Ale is a bit of an usual beer in terms of style as it's not quite a rye IPA, but close enough for me. I like IPAs of all sorts, but would Mel? Watch and find out.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (613) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 3, 2012
Sixpoint is known for making beers that are hard to classify and Righteous Ale is no exception. Billed as a rye beer with a lot of hops, it’s probably best described as a Rye IPA. But that isn’t even completely accurate since most beers of the sort tend to be very dry, overly bitter, and lightly malty. This beer is juicy, sweet, and resiny from tons of hops, but with a distinct rye bite.

I poured a 16oz can into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy brown proper with a slight shade of maroon. Forms a large, white, creamy head which laces and retains wonderfully.

Smell: Very resiny hops with hints of citrus syrup and a pleasant astringency of what beer nerds refer to as "cat piss" (Simcoe hops tend to impart this scent, but I’m not sure what hops are in this beer). There’s also a distinct rye presence, although light - like rye bread from across the room.

Taste: The palate begins somewhat mild biscuity malt dryness. It quickly transitions to a maltier taste of rye bread with hints of caramel, but still manages to throw in a little spicy bite. It’s quite earthy-tasting, almost like licking raw tea leaves or the bark of a pine tree (while that may not sound like a good thing, in the case of Righteous Ale it definitely is).

The second half turns on a dime into a sweet nectar or syrup-like taste, which then gives way to a delightfully astringent resin bitterness. There’s a brief, but noticeable taste of citrus, pine sap, and sharp dry bitterness like a salted pretzel. All these flavors are distinct, but meld together perfectly. The bitterness and overall hop presence perhaps outshines the rye component of the palate, but the rye’s light spicy flavor really helps to balance out this beer and make it rather unique. It’s tasty for sure, but not quite mind-blowing (impressive though).

Drinkability: Some beers are energetic because of their effervescence, but Sixpoint Righteous Ale is energetic because of its palate. A high amount of flavor happening here: a complex, but well balanced palate of rye spice, hop bitterness and malty sweetness. It crackles across the tongue, but goes down smooth. And as bitter as it seems, it never dries me out or wears down my palate. I’m actually quite impressed they got so much flavor into a 6.3% ABV body. It drinks like something heavier, though, as I could feel it immediately. But it would be the kind of beer I’d drink two in row of because it’s so good.
Grade: 9/10

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