Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Two Roads Lil' Heaven Session IPA

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (1370) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 10, 2015
It’s not often I encounter a session IPA that is truly balanced and has distinctive malt character, but that’s what separates Two Roads Lil’ Heaven Session IPA from the rest. This is what I would consider a truly complete brew of the style, as it actually has substance to it.

I poured a 12oz can into a mug. It was canned on 4/14/15 and cost $2 ($0.17 per ounce).

Appearance: Fairly dark copper hue; slightly hazy, but massive carbonation is visible. Pours to a small, white, soapy head which mostly dissipates but leaves a fair amount of lacing.

Smell: Lots of tropical fruit and citrus; slight herbal quality. Quite nice.

Taste: It’s nice to see breweries using new hop varieties; I’m noticing a lot of the most popular these days tend to be both tropical and herbal rather than the classic citrus and/or pine. There’s a strong pineapple taste right away here, along with light notes of papaya or guava. Through the middle I taste a fairly strong toasted malt flavor. It’s a little more distinctive than the usual pale malt found in most brews of the genre. The bitterness is noticeable right away – it’s light and crisp at first, but becomes grassy and spicy on the finish. I’d probably say this is one of the most delectable palettes I’ve encountered in a session IPA.

Drinkability: As much as I enjoyed this beer’s taste, I do raise an eyebrow at its 4.8% ABV. That’s a tad bigger than I prefer in both a session IPA and a session beer. It tastes and drinks like a normal IPA that was shrunk down a few sizes. The mouthfeel is in no way thin and spastic; it’s medium-bodied all around. I would not consider it refreshing per se, though. Definitely an easy beer to drink and packaging it in a can is certainly ideal.

Score: 9/10

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