Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Oskar Blues Pinner Throwback IPA

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1358) - Albany, New York, USA - MAY 27, 2015
Session IPAs are pretty new in the world of beer. Until recently, it was difficult to differentiate the nuances but I think I’ve got a grasp of it now. The good ones taste fine but can be a bit distracting because of their light body and mouthfeel. The great ones are more complete. Oskar Blues Pinner Throwback IPA falls into the former category. Plenty tasty and highly drinkable, but lacking in body and bitterness.

I poured a 12oz can into a mug. It was canned on 4/29/15 and cost $1.89 ($0.16 per ounce).

Appearance: Copper/maize hue over a mostly clear body. Carbonation is visible at first but dies down quickly. Pours to a two-finger, white, soapy head which mostly dissipates and leaves little lacing.

Smell: Initially strong with a grassy/herbal scent, but the more I concentrate the more I detect sweet tropical fruit juices.

Taste: Reading the description I was prepared for a relatively complex, or at least well-balanced brew. Drinking it I realized it was overtly and unapologetically hop-forward (at least as flavor goes, not so much in terms of bitterness). Grassy/herbal hops open up the palette with mild bitterness through the middle and some tropical fruit juicy flavor right on the finish. Not much in the way of distinctive malt character, though. Fairly typical, albeit mild, amber maltiness – not quite toasty or biscuity as advertised. Still, it is plenty delectable, though the experience reminds me more of a standard pale ale rather than a Session IPA per se.

Drinkability: At 4.9% ABV, Oskar Blues Pinner Throwback IPA is actually one of the heavier Session IPAs on the mainstream market. For that kind of weight, I’d expect a bit more complexity and a mouthfeel that’s not so noticeably thin and – yes – watery. Though effervescent at first, it calms down quickly and becomes quite tepid in the mouth. I will say it’s a bit refreshing for a moment and leaves a subtle, but tolerable aftertaste of hops. If this were only 4% it would be forgivable, but I expect (and want) a little more.

Score: 7/10 
P.S. This was my first beer from Oskar Blues' new brewery in North Carolina. I tag it with the Colorado label because I always classify a beer as where its brewery headquarters are located - not necessarily where it's brewed. For example, Budweiser has satellite breweries all over the country, but everyone associates it with St. Louis, Missouri; or Guinness - which is now brewed in America, but is obviously associated with Ireland.

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