Monday, March 12, 2012

Sixpoint Sweet Action

Yup, another Sixpoint beer already (and there's another one coming up soon, too!). This is the last of their core releases I haven't reviewed yet. Most beer authorities classify this as a "cream ale," - one of the few beer styles that were invented in America. It's similiar to a Kolsch in that it's a very lager-like ale style, but I've never had a cream ale that really impressed me. But Sixpoint seems to catch me off guard with their beers since they don't conform to any particular style. I assumed Sweet Action would do the same.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (628) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 10, 2012
I poured a 16oz can into a lager glass.

Appearance: Dark orange color with a hazy body, although carbonation bubbles of different sizes and speeds are easily visible. Forms a good sized eggshell colored, frothy head which retains and laces very well.

Smell: Light confectionary notes of toffee and caramel, plus some more rustic aroma of black tea, honey roasted peanuts and floral hops.

Taste: The palate to Sixpoint Sweet Action is something of a contradiction. It’s quite complex (surprisingly so, in fact), but it’s not all that robust or delectably delicious. It begins quite mild with a light nutty sweetness plus some candy flavor. It seems to turn on a dime into something quite stronger, though. Toffee, caramel, honey, and the faintest hint of citrusy hop bitterness all come through in the second half. It finishes much like it begins on a mild, subtle note with hint of herbal tea.

What’s interesting is that throughout the entire palate there’s a barely detectable lager-like component at the core. It’s reminiscent of a Vienna or Munich-style lager or even an Oktoberfest. Slightly grassy, slightly lemony, a tad astringent, but aside from using the term "grainy" (which I hate), it’s best described as an all-malt lager character. The aftertaste is a mild chalky bitterness and texture, but the beer itself is quite refreshing while it’s in the mouth. Plenty of flavor to enjoy, but kept at a "lower volume" so as not to overwhelm.

Drinkability: While Sweet Action may have some lager character to the palate, its delivery is all ale for sure. The mouthfeel is a soft, medium-to-light body with an almost creamy texture. Despite all the carbonation you can see in the glass, it doesn’t interfere with the drinking process as it goes down very smoothly. At only 5.2% ABV, Sixpoint definitely deserves kudos for being able to get so much flavor out of the brew. Technically too big to be a "session beer," but I could see most drinkers having no trouble with a 4-pack box of this over the course of a day or a weekend and still being able to function.
Grade: 7/10

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