Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lawson’s Finest Spring Fever Session IPA

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (917) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 3, 2013
I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date. I bought it from a friend who traveled to the brewery (thanks, Jon!). It cost $7 ($0.32 per ounce).

Appearance: Dark orange or amber hue, almost brown. Hazy but translucent. Massive carbonation visible. Forms an average sized, white, frothy head which retains and laces well.

Smell: Strong, wonderful aroma of citrus fruit juice, especially orange. Minor pine notes as well.

Taste: I’ve often scoffed at the notion of a "session IPA" or even when someone describes an IPA as "sessionable." Hops tend to be cloying, and you usually need a strong enough body to balance it out. To simply throw a bunch of hops into a sub 4% ABV beer would probably taste like hoppy water. I don’t know how, but Lawson’s Finest Liquids managed to figure out how to brew a beer with a genuine IPA taste, but keep the body amazingly light at only 3.8% ABV.

The beer begins on the milder side, with a gentle taste of citrus juice flavors. There’s a sweetness as well, but it’s restrained and not cloying. Reminds me of orange sherbet ice cream or some hard candy suckers. There’s a constant dry bitterness as well, but it’s not too intense until the beer reaches the apex, at which point the hops really come alive. The orange citrus and candy flavors become even stronger on the finish. This is a really delicious beer. I’d drink it often if I could.

Drinkability: If you were to drink this beer blind you could easily peg it for a bigger brew. I’ve had other beers of a comparable recipe whose bodies were thinner than this. While Lawson’s Finest Spring Fever Session IPA is not exactly as hearty as an imperial stout, it’s just a bit bigger than you’d think. The mouthfeel is fairly intense with a strong carbonation presence. It’s easy to drink as it goes down smoothly. At only 3.8% ABV, this is most definitely a session beer, but even better than that - it’s a versatile beer. I could see this standing up to a lot of food, but just enjoying it on its own is satisfying enough. 
Grade: 9/10

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