Monday, November 4, 2013

Jack's Abby Hoponious Union

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1000) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 4, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no discernible freshness date. It cost $2.69 ($0.22 per ounce).

Appearance: A hazy, but bright shade of glowing peach flesh yellow/orange. No carbonation visible (which is odd considering it’s a lager). Pours to a large, white, frothy head which laces and retains very well.

Smell: Citrus and dank resin pine. Hints of garlic and other seasonings.

Taste: Something I’ve come to discover in 2013 is that there’s a distinct "New England Style" IPA that smells and tastes of citrus or tropical fruit at first, but with a spicy vegetable flavor on the finish. Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union is very much in line with the style, though in this case the beer is actually a strong lager and not an ale. However, if that hadn’t been indicated on the label, I doubt I (or most drinkers) would have made the distinction.

The base palette here is pretty standard American IPA territory: citrusy hops up front that transition into something more dank and resiny at the peak and then finish with a slightly garlic or onion-like flavor. Many others of the regional style tend to be much stronger than this, though I actually appreciate the fact the intensity is a bit dialed-down here. There’s a slight sweetness riding along the entire time, imparting a honey or butterscotch-like flavor. The herbal component of the hops linger, creating for a slightly dry, slightly spicy sensation. It’s not too intense or distracting, so it seems like an appropriate ending.

Drinkability: At 6.7% ABV and 65 IBUs, Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union is a perfect example of what an easy-drinking hoppy beer should be. It’s flavorful and energetic in the mouth, but not so strong or obese that it’s a challenge to drink. The mouthfeel is surprisingly calm and smooth for a lager. Probably a great beer to pair with any dinner, though enjoying it on its own is quite satisfying. 
Grade: 8/10

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