now we’re all familiar with the “Black IPA” style, which is essentially
a stout with a lot of hops. What about a porter with a lot of hops –
what do you call that? I’d say you call it Sixpoint Beast Mode. This is
another brew from this eccentric brewery that pushes boundaries and
defies style categories. Probably best describes as a porter/red ale
hybrid – the hops are dominate, but roasted dark malt is quite prominent
as well. Quite fascinating I’d say.
I poured a 12oz can into a nonic pint glass. It had a best by date of 7/9/15 and cost $3.15 ($0.26 per ounce).
Appearance: Brown/maroon/mahogany shade. Lighter and more translucent
than most porters. Pours to a small, tan, foamy head which retains and
laces quite well.
Smell: Almost IPA-like with assertive citrus and flowery hops. Some dark malt is noticeable.
Taste: Judging by the description on the brewery’s website, I went into
this beer expecting a solid, to-spec porter, but what I got was
something else. There’s a strong citrusy hop presence here right from
the get-go. Supposedly only 44 IBUs, this feels like something higher
and more in the traditional IPA range of bitterness. Notes of orange and
grapefruit with a sweet, floral bouquet as well. The dark malt doesn’t
appear until the second half; imparting lightly sweet notes of caramel
and a hint of roasted barley and iced coffee. Nothing in the way of dark
fruits as is often found in traditional porter, though I do enjoy the
dynamic of the hops and malts (a way of balance through contrast).
Drinkability: I was expecting Sixpoint Beast Mode to be a rather
intimidating brew, judging by both the name and the 6.4% ABV on the can.
Though overtly bitter, it’s actually a comfortable and smooth brew all
around. The mouthfeel is only medium-bodied with the right amount of
carbonation and a soft texture. I do detect minute alcohol warmth and
flavor, but it’s subtle enough to ignore. Additionally, the hops do
linger a bit, but it is washed away quickly by the following swig. I
could see this being a great beer for savory food pairing.