Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sebago Hop Swap


4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (1150) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 13, 2014
I poured a 12oz bottle into a goblet. It appears to have been bottled on 5/11/14 and cost $3 ($0.25 per ounce).

Appearance: Golden/light orange hue over a hazy body. Pours to a small, white, soapy head which mostly dissipates, but does leave plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Dank resiny earthy character, plus some herbs and a touch of orange citrus.

Taste: There’s definitely a “je na sais quois” character to a lot of IPAs coming out of the New England states. They’ve got a little of everything: tropical fruit; spices; and pine. Though there’s still sub-genres even within this niche style. Sebago Brewing Company’s 2014 Hop Swap is a good example of what I mean since it tends to lean more toward the traditional “East Coast style” IPA with a rustic, earthy approach, but still has that New England-style character.

The malt bill to this beer is quite interesting as it uses two English specialty malts in addition to “flaked barley” (Two-row is the base malt). It’s not particularly sweet, but there’s enough malty backbone to give the palette a consistency instead of being simply carbonated hop water. As for the hops, well, there’s plenty of those. Dank, resiny pine flavor is prominent from start to finish as well as a strong - but not overbearing – bitterness. A crisp hop bite at the crest of the swig followed by slight herbal/earthy (green tea, tree bark) flavor on the back end. Slightly dry in the aftertaste, but it fades quickly. Overall, a very delicious taste that’s consistently fun and enjoyable to drink.

Drinkability: Sebago Hop Swap has the robustness of a hefty brew, but the body itself does not. The mouthfeel is a little thin, but always crisp and leaves no cloying aftertaste. It’s got a ton of flavor for 6.7% ABV, maybe even a little more than you’d expect. 
Grade: 9/10