Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ballast Point Fathom

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1417) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 28, 2015
Ballast Point is becoming one of my favorite and most-respected breweries since they’re willing to try anything and they’re really good at what they do. Fathom is their newest brew (at least around here): yet another IPL, but it’s one of the most well-rounded and thorough IPLs I’ve had. 

I poured a 12oz can into a mug. It was canned on 5/22/15 and cost $3.80 ($0.32 per ounce).

Appearance: Deep golden color with a mostly clear body; carbonation visible. Pours to a two-finger, beige, soapy head which mostly dissipates but leaves some lacing.

Smell: Intense piney/resin scent. Earthy with a touch of spice as well as a minor citrus note.

Taste: If I were drinking this blind I’d probably assume it’s an East Coast-style IPA since it has all the makings of a traditional entry of the style. The hops are prominent here (obviously), but in the way Atlantic breweries traditionally made them with an earthy/sticky/resiny/dank pine flavor. There’s a strong bitterness here, but it’s balanced out well by a surprisingly sweet malt presence. Notes of caramel and a bit of butterscotch or lollipop are noticeable. A bit of a dry spicy sensation at the apex with a quick bite hoppy bite as it finishes. Perhaps there’s features to this reminiscent of a strong doppelbock, though I appreciate the San Diego devotion to hops.

Drinkability: Ballast Point Fathom tastes and drinks like an ale despite being a lager. The mouthfeel is quite full-bodied with a fairly calm, slightly viscous texture. The hops linger on the tongue and leave a resiny aftertaste. At 7% ABV there’s actually a noticeable alcohol presence in the form of flavor and warmth, though it’s easily tolerable.

RATING: 8/10

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