poured a 22oz bottle into a mug (which, if you look closely, says
"Sunshine Fair" on it). There was no freshness date on the bottle,
though I got this from a friend (thanks, Jon!) who bought it at the
brewery for $9 ($0.41 per ounce).
Appearance: Bright golden/yellow hue - almost glowing with intensity.
Fairly hazy, but carbonation still visible. Forms a large, ivory, frothy
head which laces and retains quite well.
Smell: Strong tropical fruit notes, especially grapefruit, pineapple and
passion fruit. There’s a distinct herbal aroma as well - almost
Taste: I recently noted that the "New England Style" IPA seems to be
catching on and this is yet another beer exemplifying some of the great
brewing that’s taking place in the northeast section of America. Much
like a West Coast IPA, Lawson’s Finest Double Sunshine IPA has a lot of
citrus and stone fruit notes, but ends much differently with a distinct
herbal and spicy flavor. It’s repetitive and simplistic, but it’s tasty
and that’s what matters.
The hops are definitely in control of the palette here. They start out
with an almost nectar-like sensation of tropical fruit juice
concentrate. It’s sweet like a glass of breakfast juice, but at the same
time still dank and bitter. At the crest of the swig the bitterness
increases exponentially, imparting rustic, herbal and spicy flavors.
Ground up tree bark plus garlic and herbal tea. It’s dry, but not
completely arid. There’s additional fruit flavors on the finish, though
there isn’t a lot of distinct malt character per se. The hops linger,
leaving an aftertaste akin to garlic bread. Usually, I really enjoy this
combination, but it’s a little too spicy for me to give it my highest
Drinkability: Though Lawson’s Finest Double Sunshine IPA is packed with
flavor, it’s not a difficult beer to drink. The mouthfeel is intense
with taste, but not carbonation. The mouthfeel is fairly soft and it
goes down smooth. There is a drying sensation that lingers, but it’s
highly tolerable. I do notice a bit of warmth from the 8% ABV. It works
with the bitterness for the most part, and I would not consider it
distracting. A fine double IPA to enjoy on its own because of its rarity
and price (though if it were readily available and reasonably priced,
it’d be perfect with a spicy meal).