Thursday, September 24, 2015

Otter Creek/Jack's Abby Joint Custody

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1461) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 24, 2015
I love when breweries do collaboration beers – it’s like an inter-company comic book crossover. More often than not, collab brews tend to be unique, experimental and exciting and that’s definitely true of Joint Custody. They’re calling this a “Nouveau Pilsner”, which I suppose is code for “rauchbier meets IPL.” There’s a lot of hoppy goodness to be found here and it works fine as an IPL or hoppy pilsner, but the addition of smokey/peaty malt really surprised me. It’s a combination that works surprisingly well. 

I poured a 12oz can into a flared snifter. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.49 ($0.21 per ounce).

Appearance: Maize/pale orange hue over a very cloudy body. Pours to a small, white, foamy head which laces and retains well.

Smell: Light tropical fruit notes not unlike a West Coast IPA. A touch of honey, flowers and grass as well.

Taste: I went into this beer thinking it was going to be a traditional pilsner at the core (a style I really enjoy) with different hop character all around. I was right on the latter, but way off on the former. This beer is probably better viewed as an IPL since it doesn’t have much of a pilsner taste to it. Not that it’s bad – far from it. The base malt is of the amber/Vienna/Munich range with a bit of a sweet honey character. Where it really becomes interesting is on the finish when an intense smokiness appears out of nowhere. You’d think that’d clash with everything that came before it – especially the juicy tropical-tasting hops – but it actually complements it rather well. This beer makes full use of its 40 IBUs as there’s enough to give it some bite, but restrained enough that the smoke does a lot of the biting as well.

Drinkability: I was a bit surprised to find that this beer is 6.2% ABV in strength; that’s pretty hefty for a pilsner. It’s not nearly as light as is common for the style. There’s much more density to this body. The mouthfeel is fuller, and just a tad sticky; though it is quite crisp on the finish. I’ll bet the name Joint Custody is a play on the fact it’s smokey. That smokiness lingers momentarily, along with a light dry sensation.

RATING: 8/10

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