Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Saranac Forbidden IPA


3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (1071) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 26, 2014
I poured a 12oz bottle into the official Saranac shaker glass. It has a best before date of 6/30/14 and cost $1.83 ($0.15 per ounce).

Appearance: Dark gold/amber hue with faint copper. Mostly clear with some visible carbonation. Pours to an average size, white, foamy head which laces and retains rather well.

Smell: Combination of light herbal notes and citrus pith.

Taste: I think Saranac Forbidden IPA can be summed up in five words: rather generic, but not bad. This brewery has been experimenting with their beers recently, but they also try to make recipes that have broad appeal. In the case of this beer it’s a recognizable IPA, though it does have a bit of uniqueness to it. But it’s not so bold to be appreciated for its originality.

The label describes the beer as being citrusy and having a distinctive fruity flavor. It also mentions that it’s brewed with natural flavors. If there is supposed to be some kind of fruit flavoring here I’m not picking up on it at all. Mostly, it’s a cross between a New England style herbal/spicy IPA and a West Coast style citrusy IPA. Though both flavors are quite reserved, they do complement each other. Not much in the way of malt character, though there almost seems to be some rye present here. No distinctive sweetness, but the hop flavor and bitterness is strong enough to notice and appreciate, but isn’t anything the average drinker can’t handle.

Drinkability: Saranac Forbidden IPA drinks exactly as it should. With a medium body, crisp mouthfeel and relatively clean finish, it’s the kind of IPA you’d expect to come in a mainstream brewery’s mainstream mix pack. At 5.2% ABV and 50 IBUs it’s quite light for the style, but still works as an IPA. Probably an ideal beer to pair with spicy food, though it works fine as a standalone beverage. 
Grade: 6/10