never get tired of trying a new “Session IPA,” because every brewery
takes such a different approach to the style. It’s amazing how many
different flavor profiles are capable of being brewed and how some are
so vastly superior to others. I think Ballast Point Even Keel may be one
of the best of this latest trend in brewing innovation because of its
delectable taste, slightly complex palette, and easy drinkability.
I poured a 12oz can into a goblet. It was canned on 2/11/15 and cost $3.05 ($0.25 per ounce).
Appearance: Copper hue like a shiny penny; crystal clear with bubbles
evident. Pours to a one-finger, off-white, foamy head which laces and
retains fairly well.
Smell: Pungent aroma of citrusy hops with mild pine and herbal essence as well.
Taste: I was shocked to read the description of the beer on the
brewery’s website that indicates it’s made with 10 different malts and
six different hops. While not as complex as say, a Trappist Quad or some
kind of barleywine, this is certainly a nuanced palette for the style.
Hops obviously are at the forefront with a citrusy flavor to start out.
It’s slightly dry and spicy (think lemon or orange peel instead of the
fruits themselves). Through the middle it becomes a little earthy and
herbally – very much in the European pilsner tradition. The malt base
is, not surprisingly, light; however it is genuine with an amber/Vienna
influence. A slight hop bite as it goes down, but it keeps perfectly
with the rest of the body.
Drinkability: At only 3.8% ABV, Ballast Point Even Keel is indeed a
light beer, though it still has genuine body to it. The mouthfeel is
consistently crisp and well-carbonated, though I’d be lying if I said it
didn’t seem a little watery at times. Nevertheless, it is extremely
quaffable and refreshing while in the mouth. The hops linger
momentarily, but fade eventually. That it comes in cans is the cherry on
top since this is exactly what you want in a portable beer.