Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Brown's Riveter IPA

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1274) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 3, 2015
Brown’s Brewing Company is one of my local breweries. I’ve usually enjoyed most of their offerings, though few have really dazzled me. They seem to be going for a more contemporary vibe lately with bigger, bolder and more experimental brews. Their regular IPA was just a typical English-style brew, but their new Riveter IPA is an IPA of the moment with plenty of citrusy aroma and slightly spicy/herbal hop flavor and bitterness. It’s not ground-breaking, but for this brewery it’s impressive.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.60 ($0.22 per ounce).

Appearance: Rusty orange color over an extremely hazy body with no visible carbonation. Pours to a small, white, foamy head which retains and laces fairly well.

Smell: Strong orange flavor, though sweet and almost confectionery-like.

Taste: Usually with IPAs the first thing you notice is the hops, but with Riveter IPA the first flavor I detect is a malt sweetness. Much like the aroma, there’s an almost candy-like taste here; akin to perhaps butterscotch, caramel or – oddly enough – cake batter. At the same time there’s also a strong presence of orange: the fruit, the pith, the peel and the juice. Assertive, dry bitterness through the middle with notes of pine and very faint notes of garlic and other spice rack seasonings throughout the back end. This is a well-balanced brew to be sure, and one of the better products in their portfolio.

Drinkability: I was a little surprised to see the 7% ABV on the label as most Brown’s beers tend to be more in the somewhat sessionable range. There’s plenty of flavor here, though I couldn’t help but find the mouthfeel to be a little thin and undercarbonated. The texture is a tad watery and not as crisp as it should be. It does go down smoothly and leaves just a slightly residual aftertaste of astringent hops (I have no idea why the brewery’s website describes it as having a “light body and clean finish” WTF?). 
Grade: 8/10

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