Thursday, December 11, 2014

Long Trail Sick Day IPA

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1236) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 11, 2014
I’ve always said I don’t really care about styles, but when a brewery slaps “IPA” on the label of a beer – you have an expectation. Long Trail Sick Day IPA isn’t really an IPA in the classic sense, other than it’s a significantly hoppy beer. It’s probably better described as an amber or brown ale with a lot of hops – and in that aspect it works quite well.

I poured a 12oz bottle into an official Long Trail tumbler glass. It was bottled on 9/18/14 and cost $2.35 ($0.20 per ounce).

Appearance: Deep copper/burgundy color, but still transparent. Pours to a large, off white, foamy head which laces and retains excellently.

Smell: Lightly sweet confectionery notes, plus piney hops.

Taste: The first thing I notice is how overtly malty this beer is. A mild sweetness of toast, bread, caramel and slight peanut brittle character is present immediately. At the same time there’s also plenty of piney, earthy bitterness. It’s a little astringent, and complements the malty flavors of toast and peanut brittle quite well. I even detect some milk chocolate on the finish. The beer seems to be trying to have it all, though. Plenty of hop character and bitterness as well as genuine malty sweetness. But the two major taste components seem to almost cancel each other out as they confuse the palate. This would work better as a more traditional brown or amber ale, or as an IPA with less overt malt character. As it stands, it’s still a decent brew.

Drinkability: Before the tastes really registered on my brain, the way I knew Long Trail Sick Day IPA wasn’t a true IPA was from the mouthfeel. It’s remarkably soft and smooth in the texture without the usual carbonation crispness. It doesn’t seem to take full advantage of 6.8% ABV weight, though it is sturdy enough that it would be an ideal dinner pairing. 
Grade: 7/10

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