Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sixpoint Abigale

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1333) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 23, 2015
Sixpoint 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. 
Score: 8/10