Monday, September 17, 2012

Sixpoint Brownstone

It seems like everyone is throwing hops in everything for the hell of it these days and that doesn’t necessarily make the beer better. Case in point: Sixpoint Brownstone. Sure it’s an interesting, unusual brew for the style (though that’s typical for this brewery), but the dry bitterness from the hops seems to overpower the sweet, malty, brown ale core.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (729) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 17, 2012
I poured a 16oz can into a mug.

Appearance: Mahogany hue that’s dark but translucent. Forms a huge, tan, foamy head which laces and retains very well.

Smell: Light perfumey flowery hops and an underlying coffee scent. Otherwise quite mild in the nose.

Taste: I’ve had Brownstone many times this year - at just about every beer fest I’ve been to and on tap at a local restaurant last week, but never had it out of the can until now. It’s never let me down, but it’s never knocked my socks off the way a lot of other Sixpoint beers have. It’d be easy to simply describe it as "a hoppy brown ale" but that’s not entirely accurate. It’s more like a malty ale with a significant hop component and some familiar brown ale notes.

Though the can indicates it’s 45 IBUs, this brew seems a little more bitter than that. Sharp dry bitterness hit the palate right away with a bit of floral hop flavor through the middle. The finish is the best part as there’s a mixture of sugary coffee, caramel, and peanuts. These flavors are short lived, as the bitterness from the hops comes back to envelope the tongue. I really liked this malty taste and found the hoppiness distracting. That’s not to say it tastes bad, no, it’s definitely a tasty, appealing beer. I appreciate the uniqueness to the palate, but sometimes traditional is better.

Drinkability: Though this beer is bitter for the style, it’s remarkably drinkable. The mouthfeel is rather thin, but there’s a creamy texture which makes it very comfortable and enables it to go down extremely smooth. I’m surprised Sixpoint Brownstone is 6% ABV as it seems much lighter than that, but it’s definitely not a filling beer. It probably works best as a meal complement than anything else.

Grade: 6/10