is a brewery I’ve enjoyed for many years now. I like that they don’t
always make beers to traditional styles and they sometimes just make
stuff up. Their latest offering – Abigale – is supposedly a Belgian
Abbey-style ale of some sort (hence the name). I went into it hoping it
would have everything I like about the type of beers made by monks, but
discovered it was more or less a traditional American IPA with minor
Belgian qualities (and in that respect it still works pretty well).
I poured a 12oz can into a goblet. It had a best before date of 9/28/15 and cost $3.15 ($0.26 per ounce).
Appearance: Beautiful copper color; almost completely transparent with
constant carbonation visible. Pours to a two-finger, ivory, frothy head
which laces and retains very well.
Smell: Piney/resiny hops in the traditional East Coast IPA style. No Belgian yeast esters.
Taste: Like any good East Coast IPA, this begins with a strong dose of
earth/piney hop flavor and bitterness. Slightly resiny, but not nearly
as sticky and cloying as some of Sixpoint’s double and triple IPAs. A
mild underlying flavor of amber malt (Vienna, probably) and even milder
spicy sensation from Belgian yeast. Perhaps a touch of bubblegum flavor,
too, but not the banana bomb I was hoping for (in fact, I get no banana
here at all). The Belgian Candi Sugar does add some additional,
unfettered sweetness and accounts for the strong, big body. Since I
doubt this is attempting to come across as authentic Belgian its overt
lack of traditional character can be forgiven. I do enjoy it as a novel
American IPA, though.
Drinkability: There’s a mouthfeel you tend to associate with Belgian
Abbey-style ales: highly effervescent, peppery, and full-bodied.
Sixpoint Abigale doesn’t have that kind of delivery. Medium/full bodied,
but more crisp than spastic effervescence. It goes down smooth and
finishes remarkably clean. At 8% ABV I was actually a little surprised
to feel (and taste) alcohol warmth here – it is, admittedly, a little
distracting. I’d be curious to see how this would develop over time.